A majority of students—and teachers—are struggling to adjust to remote learning and teaching. Crash courses in new technology are overwhelming, and it can be confusing to figure out platforms like Zoom when so many other things are happening in the world, keeping our brains fuzzy.
Unfortunately, a college student named Faith learned the hard way that her professor can read all of the “private” messages she sends on Zoom.
Faith had been sending casual messages with some profanity to other students, thinking the messages were just between them. But she received an angry email from her professor explaining that no, the messages were not private, and that the teacher was reading them all along.
Faith shared the email from her professor on TikTok as well as her own less-than-embarrassed reaction.
“Dear Faith,” the email read.
“I am reaching out to inform you that I can see everything you write in the class discussion. My class session is not the appropriate time to be sending messages like ‘I’m a bougie a**, rachet a**, freak b****.’ It’s very disruptive to the class and I do NOT condone this kind of behavior during my lectures. I strongly advise you to keep the inappropriate comments to yourself from now on or else it will jeopardize your final grade for this course.”
“It caught me so off guard,” Faith said of her mistake. “I apologized to her.”
To my fellow college students: Apparently, your professors have the power to enable all convos on Zoom. I also had multiple professors quoting my tweet to confirm it😭 y’all might as well send your sorry email before they confront you🥺 and yes I apologized to that lady🙃
— Faith (@bryantfaith_) April 25, 2020
Faith’s Twitter video has since been viewed over 2.2. million times, and other students and professors have shared their own Zoom stories and warnings.
My professor deadass said on zoom they can unmute your mic and call on you😂😂
— KB⚡️ (@winnerkenneth) April 24, 2020
WAITTTTTT LFMOAOOOO I’ve been saying some wild shit in them chats ughhhhh
— Angel the Beautiful (@Lamazonensis) April 24, 2020
On its website, Zoom explains that the in-meeting chat function allows you to send messages to other users—either a private message to another user or a message to the entire group. However, many folks don’t realize that in-meeting chats can be saved manually or automatically depending on your settings.
In Faith’s case, she must have had her settings on “auto-save chat,” which means that her chats are automatically saved and the host—who is Faith’s professor in this instance—can see everything that has been sent.
So, be smart with your Zoom use. Also, don’t be a jerk to your teachers. They’re going through it right now.