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MU responds to ‘Zoombombing’ incidents

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

University of Missouri leaders released a statement Wednesday in response to disruptions during Zoom sessions.

According to a letter from President and Interim MU Chancellor Mun Choi, three separate Zoom sessions were interrupted Tuesday by people using "hateful, discriminatory and reprehensible language."

Disruptions like this have often been referred to as "Zoombombing."

Choi said that the disruptions violate university policies and will not be tolerated. Choi said officials are doing what they can to address the issue. The letter did not elaborate on the specific language used.

"Mizzou is committed to building an inclusive community free from discrimination," Choi wrote. "Our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence demand nothing less than a safe, open and supportive environment that is conducive to learning, and this is true whether classes and meetings are being held in person or remotely through any online tool."

The letter also encouraged people hosting Zoom sessions to take certain steps to try and keep sessions secure.

Choi urged people to review Zoom's guide to "Securing Your Classroom." The guide teaches users how to lock their virtual classroom, control screen sharing, lockdown chat sessions and remove participants.

The letter outlined the following recommendations for students, faculty and staff within the UM System:

  • Create an authenticated account to use Zoom and do not use Zoom as a guest user.
  • Consider using Zoom waiting rooms to keep external users from automatically joining.
  • Be aware of screen share settings.

Choi also encouraged anyone who experiences discrimination during a Zoom session to report it to the Office for Civil Rights & Title IX.

"Let me reiterate that incidents do not need to take place on MU’s physical campus to be reported," Choi said.

Incidents can be reported online, emailed to civilrights-titleix@missouri.edu and reported over the phone at 573-882-3880.

Columbia / Coronavirus / Education / Top Stories / University of Missouri

Katie Greathouse

Katie Greathouse is the assistant news director for ABC 17 News.

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