After Zoombomers’ Disruption, New Rules for Senate Subcommittee Hearings

There are new guidelines for participation in Iowa Senate subcommittee hearings after a brief pornographic incident on Monday. The hearings are being held online this year, so members of the public don’t have to trek to the statehouse during the pandemic to testify for or against bills. Internet trolls tried to disrupt a virtual meeting Senator Amy Sinclair moderated yesterday (Monday).  Some trolls were ridiculing Republicans and one person on the screen was exposing himself.

“What is happening is disgusting,” Sinclair said, “and if that’s what you think is a good idea to have included on a subcommittee on educational topics, then you honestly don’t deserve to be part of that conversation.” The new guidelines require participants to provide some sort of on-screen identification before they’ll be allowed into the virtual forum. Monday’s subcommittee hearing had nearly 300 participants. Sinclair ordered the removal of the few who were laughing and making inappropriate gestures.

“I will not tolerate pornography or hidden insults,” Sinclair said. So called “Zoombombers” began disrupting government meetings and even online classes as use of the platform soared during the pandemic. Zoom recommends against sharing details of meetings on social media and notes there is a way to disable cameras and mute the audio of participants.