On Tuesday, BuzzFeed and Vox Media threatened to withdraw from participating in South by Southwest’s popular tech festival due to the cancellation of two panels related to harassment in the gaming world. Barely a day later, SXSW has seemingly reversed its decision: One of the panels in question has been reinstated, and SXSW is now considering hosting a day-long event about online harassment.
According to Re/code, which is owned by Vox Media, SXSW has approached both its parent company and BuzzFeed to discuss including the major media brands in the event. Though the previously canceled panel “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” has been reinstated, its speakers have not yet agreed to return. The other panel that SXSW opted to cancel, “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community,” has not been revived and is associated with the GamerGate scandal from last year.
After SXSW announced its intent to cancel the two panels yesterday, BuzzFeed, which extensively covered GamerGate, said it was considering withdrawing from the festival in protest. Vox Media, which operates tech sites like Re/code and The Verge, followed suit and made a similar statement shortly afterwards. According to SXSW, the panels were canceled after the festival organizers claimed they had been threatened and harassed online–exactly the topic of discussion planned for the “Level Up” panel.
Fast Company reached out to Vox and BuzzFeed, both of whom declined to comment on their participation in SXSW.
[via The Guardian]