How to block unwanted people on Zoom

On Zoom, you can't block people you don't know from attending, but you can limit the actions of people in the meeting. Here's how to do it

Because of Covid-19 millions of people are forced to stay home all over the world and take refuge in the virtual sociality of the Web, video chats and instant messaging services. Among them, unfortunately, are a few hundred thousand trolls and hecklers. The latest enterprise of these gentlemen is called "Zoombing".

This neologism means the practice of trolls to insert themselves in public video conferences broadcasted on Zoom (platform literally exploded since the quarantine began) to transmit illegal video material. Usually explicit porn. The result is that the host of the videoconference is forced to close the live broadcast and, if the transmitter is an artist, as is happening more and more often these days, to interrupt a performance that thousands and thousands of users were watching in peace from home. This phenomenon, according to many, demonstrates that Zoom is a very powerful and easy to use platform, but it is also still immature because there are no "precautionary measures" against these phenomena. On Zoom, in fact, there is no real way to block unwanted users: you can only prevent meeting participants from broadcasting their video and audio. Here's how it's done.

How public video calls work on Zoom

It all starts with how Zoom allows you to make video conferences and video calls. The app, in fact, allows you to make private video calls, work video conferences, broadcast live webinars, and more. Some of these features include the ability to share a link with your audience: those who want to follow us can click on the link and join the video call. This is great for those who want to converse with their audience, but it's also a double-edged sword because if the link is public anyone can join the video call and broadcast what they want.

How to block unwanted users from broadcasting

Unfortunately Zoom doesn't allow you to immediately block or kick out an unwanted user who has already joined the video call. And therein lies the whole problem and limitation of this platform: if something strange happens, the easiest solution is to close everything, especially if there are many people on the call.

There are alternatives, but they are not of immediate use. You can prevent all those who connect to our streaming session, via the link from transmitting audio and video. In this way the users are no longer participants, but only spectators. To do this you must, when the meeting has already started, click on the arrow at the top next to the green "Share Screen" icon and select "Advanced Sharing Options". From here we'll have to choose who can share their audio/video: only one participant at a time or many participants at a time and then only the host or also the other participants. To block unwanted transmissions you'll have to choose only one participant and only the host. On mobile devices you can do the same by going to "Meeting Settings", where you will find similar options.

Zoom also allows you to remove a person from the call, but the procedure to follow is not very intuitive and especially difficult to do if there are many connected users. If a stranger enters the call, you have to press the More button next to the participant's name and click on "Remove". In this way the individual user will be kicked out of the call. Unfortunately there is no procedure to select a large number of users and remove them en bloc.