A student pays attention during an online class session. There has been an increase in advertisements on social media threatening to disrupt classes.

Groups are advertising that they will willingly disrupt online classes for free once they are given the login credentials to enter, teachers have discovered.

And students have been taking advantage of the offers, Guardian Media has learnt.

The recent trend is known as “zoombombing” or “zoom raiding.”

Zoombombing is described as “a type of cyber-harassment in which an individual or a group of unwanted and uninvited users interrupt online meetings over the Zoom video conferencing app.”

“This disruption occurs when insiders gate crash gatherings – sometimes for malicious purposes, such as sharing pornographic or hate images or shouting offensive language – without the host’s permission,” it stated.

One of the groups that was uncovered was Zoom Raid on Instagram.

The group states: “We raid online zoom and Google Meet classes. DM (Direct Message) us your class links.”

“Within two minutes 15 people will join and disturb your class,” it stated.

When Guardian Media checked Instagram at least 100 other accounts were offering similar services.

Teachers have been faced with classes being interrupted by the raiders who then use varying methods including the scribbling of male genitalia on presentations as well expletives being shouted while teachers are talking.

Contacted by Guardian Media president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), Antonia De Freitas confirmed that the issues have been raised with the union.

De Freitas said the matter is a “very serious one” and is “very disconcerting.”

She said investigations will be done to determine how the situation has been taking place and the Ministry of Education will be contacted on the matter.