Before you start a Zoom meeting, you might want to make sure your face filters have been turned off. On Tuesday, a lawyer in Texas learned this lesson the hard way when he accidentally appeared as a cat during a live court session.
A face filter on Zoom rendered the lawyer, Rod Ponton, as a sad kitty during the hearing for the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas. Video of the incident is now circulating on social media.
“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” Judge Roy Ferguson says during the proceeding.
Ponton responds, saying he doesn’t know how to turn off the filter. “But I’m prepared to go forward with [the hearing],” he adds, while pouting with his sad kitten face. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” he says.
“I can see that,” the judge replies.
The exchange is hysterical. But somehow, the other two lawyers in the meeting keep a straight face. “In fact, everyone involved handled it with grace and dignity. A few slight smiles, and no derogatory comments. The lawyer who was struggling with the filter handled it beautifully,” the judge later tweeted. “A testament to professionalism all around!”
Nevertheless, Ferguson himself reminds the public to keep face filters off during important meetings. “If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing, check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off. This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th,” he wrote in another tweet.
Ponton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, his computer was likely using a Snap Camera filter, which can integrate with Zoom.