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Anti-Abuse Panel to Appear at SXSW Online Harassment Summit; Gamergaters Moved Elsewhere

The Gamergate panel will be happening on a different day.


Two weeks ago today, SXSW unveiled its one-day “Online Harassment Summit,” as Re/code reported it would. The organizers flubbed the announcement, however, and anti-harassment panelists began withdrawing from the event because a Gamergate-affiliated panel was also set to participate in the summit.

Gamergate is a loosely organized online mob that claims to fight for “ethics in gaming journalism,” but largely serves to harass and intimidate women in the gaming industry or those who publicly criticize Gamergate.

Now, those anti-abuse panelists and their session (“Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games”) are back in, per a post on the SXSW website today. The Gamergate panel has been bumped from the summit and moved to a different day.

The initial round of controversy began a few weeks ago, when SXSW canceled two panels related to the gaming industry. One of them was “Level Up,” some of whose speakers have been previously targeted by Gamergate. The other was “SavePoint — A Discussion on the Gaming Community,” which was to include Gamergate-sympathetic figures talking about how racial tolerance and feminism are killing gamer culture, or something.

SXSW organized the summit in response to the swift backlash it received, which included threats from Vox Media* and BuzzFeed to pull out of the event unless the festival made some sort of amends. BuzzFeed told Re/code last week that it would be returning to SXSW.

On Twitter, “Level Up” panelists Randi Harper and Katherine Cross added some context to today’s news:

*Vox Media owns this website.

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