A recent “Ask the Rabbi” online class for a private New York Orthodox girls’ high school was Zoombombed.
CBS News reported on April 2 that several boys had Zoombombed the call, where they shouted “f—ing Jews” among other anti-Semitic slurs, and one of the boys removed his clothing.
The mother of a 14-year-old girl participating in the Zoom class told CBS her daughter “was very embarrassed by it, and she just said, ‘I can’t talk about it.’ ”
Zoombombing, where people disrupt Zoom calls with anti-Semitic and racial slurs, has become a recent trend as people worldwide use Zoom as a platform for video conferencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Yeshiva University President Dr. Ari Berman was Zoombombed with neo-Nazi memes during a March 31 speech to students.
“The experience highlighted to me how one’s true character is revealed during times of crisis,” Berman said in a statement to the Journal. “Haters will hate, and a time of anxiety and pressure will bring that out even more.”
Additionally, a March 30 South Africa Torah class was Zoombombed with comments including “Heil Hitler!” and “f— off Jews,” causing the session to prematurely end.
Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan told CBS that most of the time, Zoombombing targets first-time users who aren’t using the proper privacy settings. “We did not do a good job,” Yuan said. “When we offer the free service, we should have a training session, we should enable a password. Looking back, we should have done that … this is our oversight.”
The Anti-Defamation League recommends Zoom hosts mute call participants and lock the meeting once all confirmed attendees have joined the call.