Zoom Bomb Sighting at PPCHS


Henry S.

Graphic by Henry Severe

Samantha Miragliotta, COPY EDITOR

   In these uncertain times, students and teachers have been forced to use apps like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts. This is not considered students’ ideal situation for this year but teachers and faculty are doing their best to ensure we are learning in safe environments, or so they thought. As of now these forms of remote learning have been breached by people called “Zoom bombers,” looking to hijack calls and mess with people, Zoom bombing is when an unwanted guest joins a video call with an intention to disrupt and harass others, which seems to be getting out of hand from the looks of it. 


   A student from Pembroke Pines Charter High school has even experienced an interruption in which an unidentified guest came into the class unannounced, cursing and spewing hateful messages with alarming graphic content. Sophomore Jillian Medina expresses that “[she has] experienced zoom bombing in [her] own math class and it was, to say the least, disturbing. At the time that it happened, [she] was just in pure shock, but thankfully [her] teacher handled it quickly and there was not much disruption to class time.” Shock and silence followed. It took only a few split seconds for the host of the call to remove the unidentified “bomber.” 


   Even though the situation was handled swiftly by her teacher, these unexpected interruptions should not be happening in the first place. This sort of disruption disturbs the supposedly ‘safe’ learning environment and leaves students exposed to inappropriate content. 


   Moreover, this is quite concerning and disheartening because all the world’s educators are using platforms such as Zoom as their way of teaching. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom had only 10 million daily users. By April they claimed to have 300 million meeting participants per day. Within that number, there are trolls who use the platform for cyber attacks. Teachers can avoid these situations by ensuring that everyone on the Zoom is authenticated; posting a public link makes you vulnerable and susceptible to these transgressions. In order for these situations like these to be avoided, teachers must ensure that their meetings are on private and not set to public. 


   Just recently, officials were able to trace a series of similar interruptions to one teenager in Madison, the Hartford Courant reported. Zoom bombing is considered a computer crime that can result in a criminal charge, and it’s clear to see that authorities consider these security concerns to be taken seriously.