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Video calls can be tricky – here are some of the biggest Zoom fails

by Grace McGettigan
02nd Apr 2020

Video-call meetings can be tricky (and some people have learned the hard way). Here are some of the biggest Zoom fails we’ve seen this week

Working from home has pushed many of us outside our comfort zones. Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, it can be daunting doing video conferences for the first time.

There are too many things to consider, all the while being stared at by colleagues. Did I leave a pile of dirty laundry (including tattered knickers) within shot? Do I look too casual? Perhaps I should have swapped my dressing gown for a blazer. Can they hear my dog barking or my toddler screaming about Peppa Pig?

Throw in regular technical difficulties such as ensuring your camera and microphone are switched on (or off), and you’ve got a potentially stressful situation. Some people are having more trouble than others, it seems.

Zoom video-call fails

It has become common practice (for some unknown reason) to share a photo of your video conference on social media. Perhaps it’s to prove to people you’re being productive. Anyway, the need to share seems even more essential when the video meeting goes wrong… as was the case for the workers below:

Potato head boss

Lizet Ocampo, Rachele Clegg

Boss Lizet Ocampo was hosting a video meeting with her team when she accidentally turned herself into a potato. Without knowing how she activated the filter, she couldn’t change it back and so remained a potato for the duration of the call. Her teammate, Rachele Clegg told Insider that they each howled with laughter for 10 minutes straight. We would too, to be fair.

If you gotta go, you gotta go


Not all Zoom mishaps are funny, however. One of the first posts to go viral since everyone’s been working from home involved a huge breach of privacy.

A woman, who was unaware that her camera was still on, used the bathroom while listening into an ongoing work call. When she heard her colleagues’ reactions, she realised what had happened and quickly turned the camera away. To make matters worse, someone (presumably a colleague within the call) shared the incident on social media.

The original post, which was viewed more than seven million times, has since been removed.

The public break-up


If you’re going to break up with your partner, it’s probably best to do it after your Zoom call. In a clip doing the rounds on social media, a girl (who we assume thought her microphone was turned off) can be heard arguing with her boyfriend, saying, “I wish I never met you”.

Her lecturer, who is trying to teach a class over Zoom, says, “Natalia, we can hear your conversation and we don’t want to. Can you mute yourself?” When Natalia finally mutes her microphone, the lecturer laughs and says, “Are we good to go now?”

Boyfriend in his pants

Gamboa Yaocuicatl

Funnily enough, this isn’t an isolated incident. There have been a number of reports on social media of boyfriends and husbands wandering absentmindedly, in their underpants, through the background of their partner’s Zoom calls. Social media users aren’t sure whether they’re real or staged, but either way, it’s a big fail from us.

Ssshhh, no cheating


Adults aren’t the only ones doing Zoom meetings these days. Schools around the world are using the video-calling tool to connect teachers with their students. However, some parents are getting in the way of their kids’ learning.

Taking to Twitter, one parent said, “I’m sitting next to my kindergartener during her daily class on Zoom, and I can hear the other parents whispering the answers to their kids.” No cheating here, folks.

Feature photo: Lizet Ocampo, Rachele Clegg

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Read more: How to work from home effectively