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SXSW Cancels "Online Harassment" Panel Due to Threats

| 27 Oct 2015 01:54
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Also cancelled was a "GamerGate" panel on ethics in games journalism.

Austin's South by Southwest convention is a pretty big deal in the geek world - hosting plenty of panels and content not just from video games, but many other facets of geek and indie culture, including movies and music. But if you were planning on seeing two panels in particular at 2016's event, you may be in for disappointment, as "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games" and "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community" have reportedly been cancelled due to "numerous threats of violence."

Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games would have included Online Abuse Prevention Initiative founder Randi Harper as a panelist and was advertised as "a panel from 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." I sure hope Harper can appreciate the irony of a panel about online harassment being cancelled due to... online harassment.

The second panel, SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community, would have featured Perry Jones, who has openly posted that while it didn't explicitly feature the name "GamerGate", it was a pro-GamerGate panel in all but name.

"While we aren't explicitly a GamerGate organization, we do hold many of the movement's beliefs; unethical gaming press, free speech, free creativity, and breaking the "white gamer" stereotype. We share these beliefs, but we aren't stupid. We know that much of the mass media has portrayed GG in a very negative light, and our fear was that any submission with the name #GamerGate on it would be discarded immediately."

An email sent out to Jones and Harper, reportedly from SXSW management, said that the discussion of GamerGate was one of the main reasons the panels were cancelled.

I can't believe that after all this, we are still dealing with this GamerGaters vs. non-GamerGaters bullshit. Come on guys... we're all gamers here. Can't we just move on?

Source: Ars Technica

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