Zoom roasted after asking staff back to the office

Joel Loynds
Zoom logo above an ai generated image of people going back to the officeAdobe Firefly/Zoom

The Zoom online call app that became incredibly popular in 2020 greatly helped the work-from-home boom. Now, the company wants its own workers in the office.

Zoom, the online call and conferencing app that became part of most workers’ lives during the lockdowns of 2020, has seemingly gone against its own product.

The company has issued a demand that staff within a “commutable distance” will need to start heading back to the offices. This includes the US and UK. If an employee is within a 50-mile range of the office, they will be forced back into the office.

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Zoom found colossal success in 2020, but its popularity has begun to wain as competitors find new ways to integrate and fight it off. Microsoft, for instance, launched Teams directly integrated into all Windows 11 installs. Slack, a part of the giant company Salesforce, has also begun vigorously updating itself to retain users.

Since announcing it, Zoom has been unsurprisingly dragged and roasted for its lack of irony.

On the Business Subreddit, commenters are already all over it. One user said:

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“I just want to [second] the irony comment. F*cking [crying laughing emoji] at needing to [return to the office] for a [work from home] based video meeting platform.”

Elsewhere on Reddit, the Technology subreddit were having a field day. One said that it “Could easily be posted in r/nottheonion”, referring to the parody news site The Onion.

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Others dug into the fact that Zoom’s feature set has been lagging behind. However, apparently not as bad as Amazon’s internal Chime service.

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Others were bemused that the company even had an office. Some believe it’s a tactic to get people to quit before mass layoffs and pay out the severance fee.

Zoom updates terms and conditions to train AI models off your calls

However, one user has pointed out that Zoom might be using this corporate move to mask its new terms and conditions. On Mastodon, a developer, James (jmsdnns), has done the reading and found that Zoom will be using “service generated data” to train its own generative AI models, similar to ChatGPT.

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Under section 10.2, key bits of information are hidden amongst the text. None of it can be opted out of unless you don’t use the platform. Along with the typical usage of data for training purposes, Zoom now says it’ll use the data for “machine learning or artificial intelligence (including for the purposes of training and tuning of algorithms and models)”.

Section 10.4 also signs over any and all rights to fight it off if you happen to agree to it, or want to use the platform. Meanwhile, Section 16.2, also says that Zoom and its “affiliates, its licensors, and suppliers… own and shall retain ownership” of everything within the previous sections.

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About The Author

E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: joel.loynds@dexerto.com. He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and Metro.co.uk. A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.