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Hackers targeted a virtual Juneteenth event hosted by the city of Chattanooga on Friday, displaying pornography and derailing the celebration.

The publicly broadcast event, hosted by the city's office of multicultural affairs to honor the annual celebration of the end of American slavery, was interrupted by the display of pornographic images and videos.

In a series of tweets Friday afternoon, the city condemned the stunt.

"We find it appalling that anyone would seek to damage an event meant to celebrate African American culture and the ending of slavery in our country," the city's official account wrote.

Mayor Andy Berke apologized for the incident

"We do not condone this behavior," Berke wrote. "I apologize to those participating — whether as an organizer, performer or resident looking to learn more about Juneteenth — who were hurt by this appalling act."

The city says it will work on a way to safely display the performances and educational materials intended for the event at a later time since the celebration was derailed by the hack.

This is not the first such incident during a locally broadcast virtual meeting or event since COVID-19 spurred many government events typically held in person to move to online formats.

A similar hack took place this week when the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority's meeting was "Zoom bombed" with explicit language and pornographic images. In March, the Chattanooga City Council encountered a series of racial slurs in comments during its first virtual meeting.

The city's information technology department is investigating the hack.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

 

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