YouTube pranksters latest target? The virtual college classroom.
- Multiple YouTubers, unable to provide their normal content, have turned their attention to pranking students and professors in online classes.
- Zoom admits “We have fallen short.”
So-called YouTube “prank channels” are shifting to interrupting Zoom sessions during coronavirus lockdown, and schools and professors are quickly learning the importance of locking down online meetings.
Normally, these channels do public pranks in colleges or on city streets, and as a general rule, the more “random” or unusual, the better.
Pranking during coronavirus times is a little different, and some YouTubers have taken to a type of prank known as “zoombombing” classrooms, or showing up uninvited to virtual learning spaces and causing a scene for kicks.
This can easily be accomplished by someone inside the class sending the link for a lecture to a YouTuber of their choice. Depending on the YouTuber, the results range from disruptive to borderline obscene.
Youtuber NELK, for example, joined several schools and then proceeded to unmute themselves and vape, ensuring all or most students would see them instead of the professor.
YouTuber Jack Denmo, on the other hand, sat on a toilet, insulted professors, and pretended to be a particularly dull student. He later explained that he felt less guilty because “someone from the class private messaged me and said everyone laughed when I left the class."
Katapa TV, not to be outdone, danced unmuted and chanted in Arabic until he was kicked out of the virtual classroom that he had crashed.
In every case, these YouTubers disrupted multiple classes and told their audience they would do more if they got enough likes.
Zoom has published a blog post instructing professors on how to combat incidents like these, warning all users against publishing Meeting IDs or links. The company admitted that “we have fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations.”
None of the YouTubers responded to requests for comment in time for publication.
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