SXSW panel about online harassment cancelled due to online and offline threats

2 min read
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Ironing or irony

Personally, I’m getting tired of hearing about a bunch of topics. I’m tired of the typical “women in gaming” conversation unless it’s framed in new and interesting ways, much like I’m tired of the discussions about online harassment and toxicity. That said, they are still be important conversations to have and it’s primarily through discourse that we can find solutions. Well, it doesn’t look like any answers will be coming from SXSW after they were forced to cancel some panel discussions.

Announced on the SXSW blog, head honcho Hugh Forrest explained that two panels would be cancelled, “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.” SavePoint was meant to look at the integrity of gaming journalists while Level Up was focused on harassment. While neither used the term GamerGate in descriptions or titles, they seem to have received quite a high level of vitriol.

However, in the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming.

SXSW prides itself on being a big tent and a marketplace of diverse people and diverse ideas.

However, preserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful. If people can not agree, disagree and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised.

Oh, the irony. A discussion about overcoming online harassment has been undone because of harassment. It’s ridiculous and sad, but I understand why event organizers would make this decision. Still, if places like SXSW aren’t safe for open discussions about issues like these, they will continue to take place on the internet which really isn’t the best place to deal with the matters at hand.

Read  Naughty Dog faces harassment claims from ex-Uncharted developer

Last Updated: October 27, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • This just proves that you can’t win against the internet. Sigh.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

      Now I’m in the mood for CS

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    Well…I don’t know what to say to that, other than, maybe next time they can arrange for the South African Parliamentary escorts maybe?

    • Hammersteyn

      White shirts FTW

  • Hammersteyn

    Kinda seems silly to cancel. If they continued and violence did break out it would prove their point

    • Brady miaau

      And what, metaphorically, about the children?

      You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs, true, but which eggs?

      • Hammersteyn

        one or two eggs? I’m just saying maybe if something actually happened instead of things being cancelled because of threats the step towards action would be greater.

        • Brady miaau

          I agree, but there is a known thing called Not in My Backyard, where we all want change or things for the community, just not HERE. Happened with Cell Phone towers. We all want them up, all over, but the amount of complaints received is quite high, people complaining of medical issues and whatnot (real or imagined) when the they knew where, exactly the Cell towers were installed.

  • Rock789

    So those who scream loudest are able to cancel events? Wow… Just wow…

    • Lardus-For the Emperor!

      Sounds like our unions…and students…and freeloaders who are there for the free food to shout…

  • Weanerdog

    Funny how they only got the harassment after added some gamergaters to the panels.

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