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How Not to Host a Zoom Event

A friend called me to find out how strangers could attend a Zoom even uninvited. Uninvited guests are photo bombers. In her case the intruders were not as cute as the squirrel who photo bombed the image below. She was attending a memorial service for a friend's father when two different strangers showed up. One was a father-son pair arguing. But the other with a man masturbating. The first was annoying, the other downright obscene.

They had to stop the memorial service to sort out things. While waiting for the reboot, I talked with her to figure out what went wrong. Zoom photo bombing is so 2020. Zoom added safeguards that I are now required, including password protection and a waiting room. Hosts can also control who shows their video and who speaks. The best approach for a large group is to require preregistration and then let the host view the list ahead of time and unregister anyone they don't know. How could all of these safeguards have failed?

The funeral home—Moss Funeral Home in Illinois—published the Zoom link WITH the password and meeting number embedded. Thus, they allowed anyone to pop in. From what my friend tells me, no one was monitoring what was going on. When I went to the funeral home's website, I discovered that I can get on a mailing list to get notified of obituaries. So if I am Mr. Jerfkoff Joe, than I can check for those services that are virtual and then get my jollies off by photo bombing the bereaved. Someone needs to educate the funeral home about Zoom. Otherwise, they have no business hosting virtual memorial services.

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