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Teens Are Using Bots To Crash Interactive Classroom Quizzes

Kahoot has become a hugely popular learning tool is schools, and now teens are coming up with a variety of ways to break it.

Posted on September 12, 2018, at 5:01 a.m. ET

Kahoot is an interactive platform that lets users either play quizzes together or build their own ones and then play them.

People can join games based on codes, and the platform tracks players' quiz scores based on their username.The teacher or leader's computer shows the question, and then students or other players have the answer options come up via an app on their phones, computers, or tablets. People who aren't in the same room or can't see the lead computer have no way of seeing the question.
Kahoot

People can join games based on codes, and the platform tracks players' quiz scores based on their username.

The teacher or leader's computer shows the question, and then students or other players have the answer options come up via an app on their phones, computers, or tablets. People who aren't in the same room or can't see the lead computer have no way of seeing the question.

It's kind of like when your teacher would let you play a game at the end of class, but it's an app.

Gotta represent💚💜and what better place to do so than in an ap lit figurative language kahoot!

It's become a popular teaching tool in schools and with students. And, of course, there are Kahoot memes.

PLEASE tell me they use Kahoot in college

Rainbow Six Siege lobbies should include Kahoot music while each round loads.

If you don’t take Kahoot seriously then maybe you should reconsider your education as well as your purpose on this Earth

Yea sex is great and all but have you ever gotten first place in Kahoot?

And there's a whole thing about picking a good username when you play.

when the teacher deletes your fire nickname from Kahoot

In fact, the game has become so popular, people now stream games on Twitch.

Twitch

But since the game has grown in popularity over the past year, some students have begun trying to "hack" the game.

playing kahoot in class reminded me that last year silver gave me a kahoot code for his class as a joke and i got third place thru picking random answers. i have extra credit in one of his classes

The first method they use is tweeting out the game codes that give players access to the chosen game.

Some people just do this just for fun; others try to crash the session.

i'm playing kahoot in class the pin is: 6585841 CRASH IT

"Kahoot has a different code every time it is played and sometimes people share that code with others outside of the room," Karen Mendoza, a 17-year-old from Phoenix, told BuzzFeed News. "They log in and use funky names and just start guessing the answers. It's really fun, especially if there's a lot of people playing."

"I do it for fun. The teachers usually don't get mad — they'll be confused why there are more people in the chat than in the class," said Des Torres, an 18-year-old from Ohio.

Who wants to jump on a kahoot to confuse my teacher?

Torres also said that most students are able to tweet out codes quickly as the game requires them to be using their phones already.

However, there are now also websites and people on Twitter who say that they can send bots into games, adding sometimes dozens of extra players, thus overloading and crashing games.

Playing kahoot in class and someone’s using bots to basically DDoS our kahoot game lmao

Fiona Marshall, a 15-year-old from the US, told BuzzFeed News she has flooded her classes' games with bots via a platform called Kahoot.Ninja.

"I think I've crashed six games at most," she said — however, the platform's "crash" button doesn't really work.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

BuzzFeed News tried out Kahoot.Ninja and managed to spawn around 20 bots into a game. The crash button did not work, though, and the bots did not overload the game.

The platform also allows users to pay to get priority access to bots, and to get every answer in the quiz right. Feedback and successes are discussed in a Discord channel. BuzzFeed News has reached out to an admin for comment.

Across the internet, there are multiple platforms, tutorials, and people promising to help crash Kahoot games. Most of these hacks are created by teens.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Yo is anyone late night streaming kahoot? Cause I want to ruin someone’s stream filled with ton of bots. And I have app as well to send bots from my phone. Someone please hmu if theirs any kahoot streamers out their.

And despite students saying it's just for fun, some teachers have voiced their frustration at the bots.

@aliceleung Unfortunately some of our students have found ways to run bots and spam a Kahoot! to make it crash :( #partypoopers

Twitter

“Yes, we’re aware and it’s a rare occurrence,” Kahoot's global head of communications, Falguni Bhuta, told BuzzFeed News. “For the off-chance it does happen, we made a two-step join-in process which verifies that are you a person, to make the experience better for teachers and students.”

@liberryninja Hi! It sounds like a student in your classroom hacked the kahoot with a bot program. You can try to use the 2-step join or the nickname generator 👉🏼 https://t.co/tTuRPb0SFc Enabling these options tends to confuse bots enough to not be able to enter the game. Hope this helps! :)

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