SXSW harassment panel may return, Security risks to be weighed – Details

Updated: October 29, 2015
SXSW harassment panel may return, Security risks to be weighed - Details

SXSW Interactive is reportedly planning an all-day event dedicated to the topic of online harassment, after the festival shut down two panels due to threats of violence.

Re/code reported that organizers have already reinstated one of the panels, “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games,” and are considering going beyond simply restoring the pre-existing schedule; they’re mulling whether to create a full-day event dedicated to the issue. The panels were initially canceled after the festival received “numerous threats of on-site violence” believed to be related to the Gamergate controversy of last year.

SXSW has been in contact with both digital sites about participating in a potential harassment event, Re/code reported. On Tuesday, Vox Media said the festival should have expected threats in response to a discussion on harassment.

“By approving the panels in question, SXSW assumed responsibility for related controversies and security threats,” Vox said. “By canceling the panels, they have cut off an opportunity to discuss a real and urgent problem in media and technology today.”

Festival organizers said on Monday that they were “working with local law enforcement to assess the various threats received regarding these sessions.”

BuzzFeed and Vox didn’t respond to TheWrap’s request for comment regarding its interest in participating in an all-day harassment event.