May 22, 2020

Seeking Victims in the Zoom Disruptions Investigation

The COVID-19 crisis has caused many organizations and schools to conduct virtual meetings/events, some of which are open to the public. Additionally, links to many of these virtual events are being shared online, resulting in a lack of vetting of approved participants.

During the last few months, the FBI has received more than 240 reports of incidents throughout the U.S. and in other countries in which a Zoom participant was able to broadcast a video depicting child sexual abuse material. The FBI considers this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is re-victimized. Furthermore, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim as well.

If you were exposed to child sexual abuse material during a Zoom meeting, please complete this brief questionnaire.

Your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.

The experience of being involuntarily subjected to viewing images of child sexual abuse may be highly traumatic, and for some it can be triggering of past events.

While there are many common reactions, the experience and the impact of such a devastating event is unique to you. You may not be able to unsee these images for a while. In the short term, it may impact your sleep, your relationships, your capacity for joy; you may experience flashbacks, depression, anxiety, panic, anger, and/or fear for your own loved ones. Your loved ones may not understand why this has impacted you so profoundly.

Take the time you need to address all the areas of your life this impacts. It is also important to monitor your own reactions and seek help if needed. Learn more about coping with crime victimization.