Meeting hosts cannot turn off a participant’s video stream in Webex Meetings. To use the street abbreviation vernacular, OMG WTF??!?!?
There I was, acting as technical host and moderator on a client’s Webex meeting. Two people were presenting, using video. They wanted a collaborative environment where everyone in the small audience could share chat messages and chime in on audio if desired.
I started out with instructions for the attendees, showing them how to mute and unmute themselves, participate in chat, etc. A few people joined in with live webcams, so I assured them that they didn’t have to be on video and told them how to toggle off their camera feed.
We got started, and the presenters were on a roll, talking away. Sure enough, someone joined the meeting late and enabled their webcam. I could tell that they didn’t realize they were visible to all participants. I tried writing her a private chat message, but she didn’t see it. So when the presenters took a breath, I had to break in and interrupt the flow of the meeting to publicly tell the person that her camera was on and give her instructions on how to turn it off.
This is insane. If I see an undesired video feed from a meeting participant, I MUST have the ability to quickly turn it off. There are just too many obvious opportunities for people to broadcast something embarrassing to fellow attendees without realizing it. I don’t want to call attention to it, I don’t want to interrupt the speakers, I don’t want a delay in responding. I just want to cut off that video stream instantly and only for that one person. Webex won’t let me.
I called Webex technical support to make sure I had not overlooked something. My support rep first tried to tell me that I could disable video for all meeting participants. I told him that was not the right solution… I want video in the meeting. My presenters need to be seen. I just need to be able to control the stream for a given individual. He said, “Oh, I’m sure there’s a way. Let me check documentation.” (pause) “Hmmm, I didn’t find it. Let me ask my colleagues here in the office.” (pause) “Hmmm, they don’t know. Let me start a meeting and invite you to attend on camera.” (pause) “Hmmm, it looks like there isn’t a way to do what you want.”
This is simply insane. It’s not an operational bug, it’s a matter of faulty design. It shows a basic lack of understanding on how millions of customers interact with their product. It has to be fixed, and fixed quickly.
Does your video collaboration product have the same limitation? I certainly hope not!