Big, If True Webinar: What is “Zoom Bombing?” Media Manipulation and Sociotechnical Vulnerabilities

Big, If True Webinar: What is “Zoom Bombing?” Media Manipulation and Sociotechnical Vulnerabilities

April 9, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020 – The Shorenstein Center’s Technology and Social Change Research Team describes the phenomenon of “zoom bombing,” the act of hijacking a virtual meeting, and its consequences.

While many of us did not expect to spend the Spring cloistered at home in virtual meetings, our rapid adoption of Zoom has exposed some serious design flaws, raising the concern of the FBI. While we are not cyber security experts, we see “zoom bombing” as a sociotechnical vulnerability which occurs when the default settings of the technology are leveraged by intruders to disrupt communication, sometimes just for fun, but also for more targeted reasons. We will describe how “zoom bombing” occurs and offer some tips and field questions based on our research of the manipulation of networked communication systems. This is not a Zoom training, it is an overview of security concerns surrounding Zoom and research relating to “Zoom bombing.”

To view slides from this webinar click here.


The Technology and Social Change Research Project monitors the ever-changing landscape of manipulated media, misinformation, and the language and use of memes in online messaging. Want to keep up with what they’re seeing week to week? Sign up for their newsletter, Meme War Weekly, and get fresh insights from the team straight to your inbox.