Asian Student Group at San Diego State University ‘Zoombombed’ by Racists
By Ryan General
April 15, 2020
“Zoombombing,” a new type of trolling done by crashing on Zoom video calls, is now being used by racist individuals to spew hateful comments against Asians.
Members of the Filipino American student organization Andrés Bonifacio Samahan at San Diego State University were recently harassed by these so-called “Zoombombers,” reported KFMB.
The group was conducting a meeting with more than 40 members on Zoom on Friday when the trolls crashed their session and used racial slurs and derogatory language related to the novel coronavirus against the students.
Lana Bautista, a chairperson of the organization, took to social media to condemn the abuse and call attention to such attacks.
“This incident lasted for not even 5 minutes yet it had me and my members shocked,” Bautista wrote. “See how none of us knew how to react when it happened. I HATE how I couldn’t shield my community from something so horrible. It haunts me even hours later.
Francis Cadiz, treasurer of the organization, told KFMB that the group felt threatened by what they heard.
“You could see it on their faces,” Cadiz was quoted as saying. “Distraught, anger and disappointment, some were even crying after that [call]. It really was such a big shock to all of us.”
Cadiz noted that beyond this incident on Zoom, his fellow members have been experiencing discrimination in public since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“They would notice treatment they would receive is slightly different than normally what they would get,” he said.
Many have taken to Twitter to support the student organization and denounce the Zoombombing.
In a statement to News 8, a Zoom representative said the company “strongly condemns” such behavior, while providing steps to minimize or avoid such attacks in the future:
“We are deeply upset to hear about the incidents involving this type of attack. We take the security of Zoom meetings seriously and in order to prevent such incidents from occurring, we strongly encourage users to arrange their settings so that only hosts can share their screens, and utilize features such as ‘Waiting Room’ and host muting controls. We have encouraged our education users in particular to follow the guidance contained here — and we recently updated the default screen sharing settings for education users enrolled in our K-12 program so teachers by default are the only ones who can share content in class.”
The company also stressed that they are “committed to maintaining an equal, respectful and inclusive online environment for all our users regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, disability or genetics. “
The spokesperson also urged users to “report any incidents of this kind directly so we can take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, SDSU posted the following statement on the SDSU Division of Diversity & Innovation Facebook account:
Feature Image via @lexxluthorrr
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