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Safer Online Meetings

With many of our CoDA meetings moved to internet-based video rooms & phone lines, by now you’ve probably heard of the “bombers” that like to interrupt meetings with their inappropriate behaviours. 

Following requests from meetings affected by such interruptions the CoDA Board of Trustees have collated some suggestions to help keep your group’s meetings safe, and we share these for our UK fellows below.

These are not 100% inclusive; it is best to research the help file of the provider or vendor that your meeting chooses.

1. Do not use your personal meeting ID – instead generate a new meeting ID for your meeting. Meeting app accounts allow the creation of many meetings with a unique ID which can be used recurring. The limitation applied is with the concurrent use of different meeting IDs.

2. Consider using a meeting password – even if this is published on a publicly accessible meetings list this can still act as a preventative measure.

3. Consider using a “waiting room” feature – this allows the meeting host(s) to vet each person before granting them access to the meeting. Should someone join the meeting for disruptive purposes they can be removed to the waiting room by the host. This also allows members to provide a new service role.

4. Mute audio as members enter the meeting or once the meeting starts – ask members to unmute when it is their time to share. Once the meeting is running only those providing service by reading the script, reading literature, or sharing need to have their mic open. This can also form a part of meeting etiquette to prevent audio echo and feedback.

5. Turn off screen sharing for everyone but the meeting host(s) – many disruptive joiners share material to interrupt the screen. Having a service position of host allows any sharing of readings or other meeting materials to be performed as part of the service role.

6. Be prepared to remove anyone that is disruptive with inappropriate behaviour – the only requirement to attend a CoDA meeting is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. By joining to disrupt intentionally signals that this is not the reason for joining the meeting.

We hope these suggestions will help you to keep CoDA meetings healthy, safe, and secure!

If your group would like assistance with setting up any of these measures, the UK Webmaster would be happy to share instructions – please email him on webmaster@codauk.org.