The Davenport Memorial Bath City Hall in downtown Bath, Maine, as seen on Monday, March 5, 2018.

Pornographic images and profane language forced the Bath City Council to end its first online meeting abruptly on Wednesday evening.

The Times Record reports that the interruptions came from unknown users during a meeting on Zoom, an online meeting platform. The city website carried the login-info beforehand because all city council meetings must be open to the public, said Mari Eosco, council chairwoman.

These interruptions are occurring nationwide. The FBI issued a warning to Zoom and other video-teleconferencing platform users on March 30 to beware VTC hijacking, particularly those who conduct business or take classes online, according to National Public Radio.

“As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide,” the FBI wrote. “The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.”

The FBI recommends making all online meetings private to bar unwanted attendees and advises against posting meeting information online or on social media.

Peter Owen, Bath’s city manager, told The Times Record that the city would have to invest in expensive technology to allow city meetings to remain open to the public while prohibiting online hijackers from posting lewd content during the meetings.

The meeting will resume at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 5. The identification number and password for Monday’s meeting will only be shared with city councilors and staff members. Residents who wish to attend must email Darci Wheeler, Bath’s city clerk, before 5 p.m. on Monday. Wheeler can be reached at dwheeler@cityofbath.com.

“I was baffled that something like that could happen in little Bath, Maine,” Eosco told The Times Record. “You’re never immune on the internet.”