Zoom Safety Updates

Zoom Safety Updates

From Adam S-

Sarah and I had a really fun afternoon on Sunday after Church! We headed back to the Sanctuary for the afternoon concert of the Philadelphia Freedom Band. If you don’t know, Sarah and I met in the Marching Band at Penn so we really nerd out to good Concert Band music and, the Philadelphia Freedom Band certainly provided that! I was also needed because they wanted to broadcast their concert over Zoom. They created a FB Event on their page and invited their followers to our Church Zoom Room to watch it live (we also recorded it for them!)

Near the end of the end of the first half of the concert, we lost sound for a minute – an event we are attempting to mitigate but DO know how to recover from rather quickly now. In this recovery, I turned on the chat for the Zoom, explaining to the listeners what had happened and asking them to chat back if their sound was OK. So, although this was a one-directional event (not interactive like our services), the chat remained on for the second half of the concert.

About halfway through THAT second act, it happened. Four or Five “Bad Actors” (I will try to put it politely) got on to the Zoom and started writing HATEFUL things in the chat. It is amazing how much text can be produced in about a minute and a half! I think most were watching and listening to the performance and did not even notice. One concert goer (my favorite reply) wrote back in the chat “I think you are in the wrong concert” And I immediately shut down the chat, kicked out the users, and reported them to Zoom. They will never be able to log back into our meeting again.

BUT, it makes us think. We need to be vigilant and careful with our own Sunday Services. While the interactive nature of our services is something we are proud of and want to preserve (so much better, in my opinion, than a one way FB Live), we will be even more careful to:

  • Put the Waiting Room on right as the Service Starts
  • Turn off the Chat and Mute all Members (and disallow unmuting) during times where the service is intentionally non-interactive (such as the Choir Anthem and the Sermon)
  • Ask all members online to “Say Something if you See Something” Toni, Adam, Laura, and Michael are all Hosts and Co-Hosts of the Service. PLEASE reach out to us if you are concerned about any behaviors you see.

We live in trying times, may our times together in the Sanctuary and our online Sanctuary space be holy, meaningful, free of “Bad Actors,” and filled with Love First!

See you in Church