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Still can’t find that lawyer’s viral cat filter for Zoom? Here’s why

Internet sleuths were quickly able to determine that the filter in question was made for old Dell laptops.

Still can’t find that lawyer’s viral cat filter for Zoom? Here’s why
[Photo: hang niu/Unsplash; Manja Vitolic/Unsplash; rawpixel]
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A viral video on Tuesday in which a Texas lawyer is seen hilariously trying to disable a cat filter had millions of people asking the question of the century: How can I be an adorable kitten during Zoom meetings too?

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Sadly, the answer is more complicated than it sounds. A few savvy internet sleuths were quickly able to determine that the filter in question was part of very old, no-longer-supported software for Dell laptop cameras, and in fact a blogger complained way back in 2013 about how difficult the filter was to disable.

Rod Ponton, the now-famous attorney who fell victim to the furry glitch, would have to agree. “I’m not a cat,” he says in the video, despite the fact that he clearly was a cat. The YouTube clip posted by the 394th District Court of Texas has been viewed more than 5 million times in a little more than a day.

Although the filter was part of an outdated webcam driver, the viral incident does raise the question of whether Dell would consider bringing it back in future updates. Reached for comment, the company did not say. But Glen Robson, chief technology officer of the client solutions group at Dell Technologies, sent us the following statement. (Apologies to the pun averse.)

“Never underestimate the power of a software upgrade. Mr. Ponton was likely running an outdated driver which may have held him in cat filter limbo a little too long. While those of us techies were probably cringing watching that video, I’m sure cat lovers everywhere were celebrating. A purr-fect reminder to keep your software up-to-date. The future is meow.”

Filters in general are pretty easy to enable for videoconferencing calls. Zoom has some of its own, and Snap Camera even lets you make custom ones that you can enable and use with Zoom.

If you’re really determined to use the exact filter that left Rod Ponton so befuddled during that fateful meeting, Debugger just posted an extensive set of instructions, but be warned that they take a bit of technical know-how.

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And let’s be honest—the filter is already a lot less adorable than it was 24 hours ago.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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