TikTok organized a day-long virtual Pride event Thursday over Zoom for hundreds of LGBTQ creators, consisting of workshops, panels, and fireside chats with employees.
However, just minutes into it, the Zoom call was overrun with uninvited trolls who filled the chat and took over the audio with racist and homophobic slurs.
TikTok has since announced on Twitter that it had cancelled the remainder of the event, and apologized for “some bad actors” disrupting the event with “extremely hurtful, harmful comments.”
“Zoombombing,” the act of uninvited guests infiltrating a video call to troll or harass participants, has been an issue facing Zoom calls for months, causing companies and clients to ban the software. Zoom has since ramped up security and privacy.
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A virtual event hosted by the short-form video company TikTok was forced to shut down on Thursday just five minutes after it had started after trolls inundated the Zoom call with homophobic and racist slurs.
The company had planned Thursday to host a day-long event for Pride Month to bring together queer creators on its platform for panels, collaborations, and conversations with company employees. But as soon as the event kicked off, so-called Zoombombers who obtained a link to the video call filled the text chat and audio with offensive language directed at Black people and queer individuals, attendees told Business Insider.
TikTok later announced on Twitter on Thursday that it had canceled the remainder of the event, and apologized for “some bad actors” disrupting the event with “extremely hurtful, harmful comments.” For more than two hours after the Zoom call abruptly ended, creators say they were left in the dark about what had happened or what the plan was for the remainder the Pride events.
In a transcript of the Zoom call’s text chat sent to Business Insider, trolls almost immediately flooded the chat with messages about “Straight Pride,” Donald Trump, and Chick-fil-A, the food chain that donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations. Some Zoombombers, with usernames like “GayNotOkay,” repeatedly posted slurs for Black people and queer individuals in the chat.
The organizers of the call disabled the text chat as the event was starting, attendees said. Then, as Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s US general manager, attempted to share her screen to introduce the event, the trolls took control of the call and blasted an incredibly loud, distorted audio clip that contained racial slurs. TikTok ended the event moments later, just minutes after it began.
Several LGBTQ creators told Business Insider that while they were shocked by the behavior of the trolls, they were disappointed that TikTok failed to adequately secure the call and take precautionary measures for Zoom, a platform that has come under fire for its handling of privacy and security issues. Some in attendance told Business Insider that they were losing confidence in TikTok’s commitment to the LGBTQ community, and were reminded of TikTok’s past actions of suppressing videos that featured LGBTQ content.
TikTok creator @ikisspuppy, who has 77,000 followers …read more
Source:: Business Insider