Police are investigating after a church Zoom meeting was interrupted by a barrage of gay porn, Nazi flags, and a voice urging members to “convert to Islam”.
Members of the Worcester Diocese were seen reacting in horror when their September 21 virtual conference was gatecrashed by hackers, who repeatedly shouted “motherf**kers” as they flooded the screen with images of four men engaging in a sex act.
The Diocese has since apologised to those who witnessed the “unpleasant” content and has offered support to members who were distressed by what they had seen.
A spokesperson for Worcester Diocese told Birmingham Live: “We are currently running a series of online meetings to enable people from our churches across Worcestershire and Dudley to become involved in the future plans for our Diocese.
“Unfortunately at our meeting on Monday, several people were admitted who shared some offensive and disturbing content on both their profile pictures and in the chat line.
“We removed a number of people immediately, but one remained undetected and therefore we took the decision to end the meeting.
“We have apologised to all those who were present at Monday’s meeting and have offered the opportunity to speak to a member of our safeguarding team if anyone was distressed by what they saw.”
The Diocese added that they had now increased their security and changed their processes.
The incident was reported to police, who have asked anyone with information to contact them quoting crime number 22/81481/20.
In May this year Zoom announced it would be introducing new safety procedures to combat “zoombombing”, as this form of trolling is known.
Several people reported their video calls interrupted with nudity and hardcore pornography, while some members of the LGBT+ community were zoombombed with homophobic abuse.
The video calls are now secured with passwords and an additional level of encryption, but hackers can still easily gain access if the passwords are widely shared among groups.