On Thursday morning, British Columbia’s Attorney General provided an important update on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the province’s insurance provider.
But there was one key difference between this press conference and the plethora of other briefings from the provincial government in recent weeks: he declined to appear on video.
Eby attributed this decision to a single tweet from an account called Room Rater that was created in April 2020 has since gone viral.
Room Rater was created, as the name suggests, to rate the rooms in which public figures host their video conferences on a scale out of 10.
The account gave Eby’s background a rating of 1/10 on Friday morning, commenting that it reminded them of a hostage video and Eby “seems to have some particularly cruel kidnappers”.
— Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) May 14, 2020
Earlier this week, the account also reviewed BC Ferries’ media spokesperson, Deborah Marshall, awarding her a much more favourable 7/10 after suggesting she fix her camera angle.
— Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) May 12, 2020
With physical distancing restrictions in place all around the world, more and more people are opting to connect over video call than others.
For public figures, this means viewers now get a sneak peek into their personal lives, leading to amusing and quickly viral Twitter accounts like Room Rater or Bookcase Credibility.
Some tips for improving your backgrounds during a video call (according to Room Rater, anyway) include throwing in a plant, some artwork, a bookcase or two and finding the angles that work for you.
Unfortunately for Attorney General Eby, these tips come a little too late.