In case you didn’t know, people are using Zoom to hold virtual sex parties.
Yep, the enterprise video conferencing service isn’t just a popular tool to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic; journalists have been documenting how people are relying on Zoom to host sex parties, which involve participants getting naked in front of their computers to perform naughty acts.
But what does Zoom think about all this? A new piece from Rolling Stone magazine suggests the company is trying to crack down on the digital orgies.
“Zoom’s user policies explicitly prohibit any obscene, indecent, illegal, or violent activity or content on the platform,” a Zoom spokesperson told the publication. “We encourage users to report suspected violations of our policies, and we use a mix of tools, including machine learning to proactively identify accounts that may be in violation.”
So does this mean the end for Zoom sex parties? We reached out to Zoom, but it declined to comment. Nevertheless, it’s important to note the San Jose-based company will probably have a tough time making any sort of dent in the adult activity.
The approach is a double-edged sword when it comes to content moderation. On the one hand, Zoom has no ability to spy on your meetings. On the other hand, bad activity can fly under the company’s nose, including attempts by strangers to maliciously hijack your meetings.
On the internet, you can now find numerous videos of students, internet trolls, and even racists hijacking Zoom meetings to embarrass and harass unsuspecting victims. In some cases, the “Zoom-bombing” incidents have involved the attackers successfully displaying hardcore pornography clips to innocent children. Thus far, machine-learning tools have not stepped in to flag nudity in those cases.
Zoom declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about how the nudity-catching machine learning tools work. A Zoom sex party host also told of a magazine he was doubtful about a crackdown. “I think this is another instance of a business that wants to pretend it doesn’t do these things, but of course it does,” he said.
We’ll have to wait and see if the company decides to take action. But Zoom is well aware that its video conferencing service is now being used for purposes it never envisioned, due to its sudden popularity from the pandemic.
“We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said earlier this month. In response, the company has hit pause on developing new features, and is focusing the next three months on tackling trust, safety, and privacy issues with the product.