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Zoom Incorporates Security Features Suggested By Rep. Jahana Hayes Following Disruption

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn.
Courtesy of Jahana Hayes for U.S. Congress
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Conn. Rep. Jahana Hayes

U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes of Connecticut faced racist attacks during a virtual campaign event this fall. Now, some of her cybersecurity suggestions have been incorporated into new Zoom meeting features.

In October, Zoom bombers hijacked Hayes’ event with derogatory music and racial epithets, including the N-word. For six minutes, the meeting hosts had no way to stop it.

Zoom announced a new feature this month that lets hosts suspend and report participant activities. It will stop that participant from using features like audio, chat and screen sharing. Hayes announced via Twitter that she suggested the change after the racist “Zoom bomb.”

Hayes is the first Black congresswoman elected in Connecticut. She wrote an essay called “I Am Not Okay” that explained why the incident should draw attention to the problem of racism, not just cybersecurity.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.