SXSW Interactive representatives announced on Monday that two gaming-related panels would be canceled in light of recent threats of violence.
The cancelled panels for the March 2016 event both pertained towards harassment in the gaming community. One was called “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and the other “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.”
SXSW director Hugh Forrest announced that “However, in the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming.”
There has been an increase in dialogue over the issue of online harrassment since the GamerGate controversy, and Forrest was quite upset that the panels had to be axed.
“Preserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful,” Forrest stated. “If people can not agree, disagree, and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised.”