Buzzfeed Will Withdraw from SXSW Until The Festival Addresses Harassment In Gaming

Should SXSW cave to the Gamergate threats? 

By Eric Shorey

Buzzfeed has decided to withdraw from the South by Southwest Interactive technology conference over their decision to cancel two forums that address the Gamergate movement.

Since its inception, the Gamergate movement has drawn criticism from progressives and activists. The movement itself can easily be understood as a thinly veiled online harassment group specifically opposing diversty and gender equality in video games, although representatives of the group often claim that the loosely-knit association really exists to combat bad ethics in video game journalism. 

Most recently, SXSW festival has decided to cancel two panels -- called "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games" and "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community" -- after the festival received threats of on-site violence.

Buzzfeed has asked the festival to reconsider. In an e-mail to SXSW event director Hugh Forrest, Buzzfeed president said, "We hope you will reconsider that decision, and reinstate the panels. Digital harassment — of activists of all political stripes, journalists, and women in those fields or participating in virtually any other form of digital speech — has emerged as an urgent challenge for the tech companies for whom your conference is an important forum." Buzzfeed currently plans on removing all support from the event unless the panels are reinstated.

Numerous events have been canceled previously after Gamergaters called in bomb threats. Should they get their way? Discuss!

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