Durham University investigates after LGBT+ Zoom event 'hijacked' by homophobic attackers

Camilla Turner
·1-min read
Durham University is investigating the incident - Lee Smith/Reuters
Durham University is investigating the incident - Lee Smith/Reuters

Durham University has launched an investigation after an LGBT+ society Zoom meeting was "hijacked" by homophobic attackers. 

The Russell Group institution said it would report the incident of "Zoom bombing" to police, stressing that such behaviour "will not be tolerated". 

The Saint Mary's College LGBT+ Association held a Zoom event earlier this week to welcome freshers to the university. 

But the meeting was "hijacked" by 15-20 anonymous callers who "took it upon themselves to shout a number of homophobic and racist slurs", according to the association. The intruders went on to "share sexually explicit videos on their screens as well as play extremely loud, disorientating music". 

The association said Durham University had launched an investigation to find those responsible. 

It follows an investigation into a "lads" WhatsApp group where freshers allegedly boasted that they would "shag a different girl every night". 

The LGBT+ group said that the Zoom incident was "further evidence of Durham's systemic toxic culture" and that people who had been on the call had felt "upset, threatened and above all unsafe". 

A Durham spokesman said: "The university has been informed about incidents of 'Zoom bombing', where uninvited guests share their screens to bombard real attendees with disturbing or distracting content, leaving participants feeling distressed, threatened and unsafe. 

"Such behaviour is not acceptable at Durham University and will not be tolerated. Incidents will be reported to the police. Every member of the university is expected to treat others with respect and tolerance so that every member of our community can live, study and work in a safe and inclusive environment."