SXSW Caves To Pressure To Reinstate Sexual Harassment Panels After ‘GamerGate’ Debacle

Annual Austin, TX event South By South West recently dealt with the venom of the dangerous Gamergate community – who threatened violence if they planned to go through with two panels on sexual harassment within the gaming community. The event board initially gave in to the cyberbullying due to concerns over violence (understandable to a point).

But many media outlets felt this was in seriously poor form. The cancellation of the panels—titled “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” prompted a backlash and advertisers and sponsors threatened to pull out as a result (including Buzzfeed – yeah, that is not good).

It’s tricky because while I understand they worry about violence, giving in to the trolls in the gamer community is also unwise and detrimental to the now mainstream fight against the anti-feminist Gamergate movement. It’s exactly what the group wants, for us to be silenced.

In addition to the reinstatement of the panels, SXSW will host a daylong summit on March 12 to examine sexual harassment. SXSW will also be live-streaming the summit for free. This is a smart move and I plan to stream it as should all of us!