Five Ways to Address Zoombombing
By now, most of us have heard of Zoombombing.
Unfortunately, most of the Zoombombers are racist and violate the Zoom sessions with racist, offensive and derogatory remarks.
Following are five strategies you should employ if you are leading a Zoom meeting and are Zoombombed:
- End the meeting immediately. Do not subject your meeting attendees to any more of this abuse than necessary. These violations are traumatic. Continuing the meeting as if nothing happened is just as offensive as the actions of the Zoombombers.
- Inform your chief PR officer. These incidents are making the news and going viral on social media. Give your chief PR officer a heads-up so that they can be prepared if the media find out about the Zoombombing and contact your organization.
- Apologize to the Zoom meeting attendees. Follow up with the attendees after the meeting to apologize and reschedule the meeting.
Following is an example of an appropriate apology:
[Name of your employer] is deeply sorry for the despicable behavior displayed by today’s Zoombombers. Their behavior and words were hate-filled, offensive and counter to [Name of your employer]’s core values. We reject this behavior and these words and will never tolerate them. We will put the necessary measures in place to ensure this type of situation does not occur again. Again, we are very sorry. Thank you.
Following is an example of an inappropriate “apology”:
[Name of your employer] is sorry for ending the session early. We will put the necessary measures in place to ensure this type of situation does not occur again. Thank you.
The first apology tackles a tough topic head on and demonstrates courage and decency. Basically, it’s the right thing to do, feel, say and write. The second “apology” demonstrates ignorance and tone deafness. Most decent people would be outraged and embarrassed by it.
- Ask your IT department to try to identify the Zoombomber. An IT expert identified his employer’s Zoombomber and called their cell phone. What did the Zoombomber do when the IT expert identified himself? The coward hung up the phone. When possible, share the Zoombombers’ names and contact information with local law enforcement agencies. If the Zoombombers are part of your organization, “free up their future.”
- Put in mechanisms to lessen the chance of another Zoombombing occurring. Work with your IT department to master the features necessary to “lockdown” Zoom to prevent Zoombombing. Document the process in a checklist that you can refer to over and over again.
Do you have other strategies to offer?