Online trolls are reportedly infiltrating Alcoholics Anonymous video calls and derailing the support meetings, according to a report by Business Insider.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, self-isolation measures have meant recovering alcoholics can no longer attend in-person AA meetings so have turned to video conferencing apps like Zoom instead.
Unfortunately, people have been crashing these calls in a phenomenon known as “Zoom Bombing”.
For example, during the New York Inter-Group Association’s AA meeting on Tuesday morning, one troll got into the video call and reportedly shouted misogynistic and anti-Semitic abuse, before loudly taunting:
Alcohol is so good!
Organisers of the meeting quickly muted the intruder and then removed them from the meeting.
But as a result, around half of the meeting’s participants had left the chat.
This is because some of the participants had used their real names in the chat and their identities could have been compromised if the intruder had screen recorded the interaction.
Trolls are gathering in online forums on sites like "4Chan" to talk about who they should hit.
The problem’s gotten so bad that the FBI issued warnings about “Zoom Bombing” after multiple schools offering online classes were targeted.
Their guidance states:
Do not make meetings or classrooms public.
Only share links with people you trust.
Manage screensharing options (change screensharing to “Host Only”)
Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications.