The unprecedented circumstances we are facing as a result of COVID-19, have forced AA Groups to either close or temporarily suspend their regular face-to-face meetings. Most AA Groups have subsequently moved to virtual (online) meetings to continue to carry the message of recovery and hope.
In true AA spirit, the Fellowship has continued to thrive through this adversity, with over 200 meetings moving online in Melbourne and Victoria, providing the newcomer a safe and welcoming introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous and all members an avenue for carrying the message and remaining connected with their Home Group and the Fellowship as a whole. Many have taken this opportunity to also connect with new meetings throughout Victoria and around the world.
The rapid transition to virtual meetings, with Zoom currently being the most popular platform, has presented new unforeseen challenges. Our need to simultaneously keep our meetings safe, whilst being anonymously accessible to all, has left us vulnerable to intruders, i.e. Zoom Bombers and Trolls.
Zoom Bombing is shorthand for when strangers intrude on an online Zoom meeting. Sometimes, these intruders might just listen in without anyone knowing they’re there. Most times, they attempt to disrupt the meeting with hate speech, profanities, threats and pornographic images.
To minimise (and hopefully eliminate) these disruptions, best practice guides have been developed from the shared experience of Groups and Members. These are suggestive only and your Group Conscience can decide which, if any, of these suggestions to adopt for your meeting(s).