SXSW cancels two gaming harassment related panels

Gamergate is still a thriving hate group that’s causing problems for two panels at SXSW 2016. In an announcement posted by Hugh Forrest, he explained why the yearly conference would cancel “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.” The reason? The two panels have drawn too many threats of violence during the panels and the event.

The description for the “Level Up” panel said that it would include “experts on online harassment in gaming and geek culture, how to combat it, how to design against it, and how to create online communities that are moving away from harassment.”

The “SavePoint” panel, meanwhile, was to “focus heavily on discussions regarding the current social/political landscape in the gaming community, the journalistic integrity of gaming’s journalists, and the ever-changing gaming community, video game development, and their future.”

In his blog post, Mr. Forrest said the conference “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,” he added. “If people cannot 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 compromise.”

SXSW is steering clear of all gamergate relating panels to not only avoid the threats, but also to avoid becoming a targeting of the gamergate community who could cause a lot of trouble for the event. The two panels both had speakers who were indirectly and directly involved in the gamergate harassment. Both panels have claimed to not directly talk about gamergate but about harassment in the gaming community. SavePoint panel seem to more heavily lean on supporting the gamergate events and harassment while LevelUp had speakers who were directly harassed and wanted to talk about how to prevent that in the future.

Randi Harper from LevelUp tweeted out the email SXSW sent her about her panel being canceled, and she made it clear that the panel wasn’t going to directly talk about gamergate but was closely related.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about SXSW canceling these two panels!


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