Internet ‘trolls’ disrupt online dance session with offensive April Fools Day prank
PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 April 2020
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An online dance session for older carers was hijacked this morning by teenagers who “descended en masse” into the virtual gathering sharing offensive and racist imagery.
About 50 people hacked into the Zoom session, run by dance teacher Rachel Sparks, using fake email addresses having all registered at the last moment.
Anne-Marie Payne from City and Hackney Carers Centre told the Gazette about the incident on April 1: “A bunch of internet trolls descended en masse, too quickly for us to boot them out of the session, and quickly started sharing their screens full of pictures of women taking their tops off, swastikas and more.”
Anne-Marie set up The Hackney Carers Collective for carers aged 50 plus so that older carers could collaborate on artistic projects.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown they have moved their dance sessions online.
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“We’re trying to reassure our carers that the internet is not a scary place and that connecting digitally during this time is still a good idea.
We’ve changed our settings so that it can’t happen again - you live and learn!” said Anne-Marie.
City and Hackney Carers Centre has post-poned most of its Carers Collective group activities and Brocals group gatherings due to Corona virus but will continue to host online dance sessions.
One on one counselling, coaching and advice sessions are still being offered via telephone, e-mail and Skype.
To learn more about Hackney Carers visit https://www.hackneycarers.org.uk/
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