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Virtual Oklahoma City University graduation hacked with racial slur, swastika

Virtual Oklahoma City University graduation hacked with racial slur, swastika
© Getty

An Oklahoma City University (OCU) virtual graduation was hacked Saturday, with a racial slur and swastika appearing onscreen during the event held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The interruption came as images of students were being displayed and student Jay Williams was giving a blessing, an Oklahoma City CNN affiliate reported.

“We are heartbroken and outraged at the hate-filled attack that occurred at the end of our virtual graduation celebration today. During a time that should have been focused on recognizing our graduating students, an unknown source was able to bypass the system and display racist and offensive language. I want to be clear, OCU stands against racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism,” OCU President Martha Burger said in a statement.

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“I cannot remove this pain and hurt, but I want you to know, that at OCU, we will continue to pursue the values that define us – values of integrity, respect, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. We will work together to ensure that love, not hate, prevails,” she added, reproducing the blessing Williams had been given when he was interrupted: “Where there is injustice, may we not be silent. Where there is harm, may we be makers of peace. Where there is hate, may we be agents of love.”

The ceremony was hosted on Zoom, a popular video meeting platform during the coronavirus lockdown that increasingly has become a target for hackers.

A group of parents recently asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey crack down on the hackers, who use his platform for organizing.

“As parents and Twitter users, we are deeply concerned that Twitter is now the epicenter of online trolls organizing racist, violent, and sexual attacks known as ‘Zoombombing,’” the parents wrote in April. “With so much of children’s education now moved online, we are asking you to stop putting our kids at risk and take immediate action to shut down the planning and spreading of this vile abuse.”