Anti Harassment Controversy at South by South West

Anti Harassment Controversy at South by South West


A panel that planned to speak at the Media Industry’s South by South West has been challenged by the very trolls they sought to expose.

It is a bit complicated, but in a nutshell, people like Brianna Wu who are standing up for oppressed minorities on-line such as Women (in gaming and Tech who suffer terribly at the hands of Trolls), sexual and gender minorities, and of course racial minorities and disabled have attempted to have a serious debate on a high profile stage about what can be done to arrest this problem. It all began with ‘Gamer Gate’ which she herself suffered serious threats  causing her to flee her home. So when South bungled the announcement and began canceling these debates the tech industry naturally are asking questions as to why?

ReCode stated that:

Caroline Sinders, “Level Up” panel organizer

“In light of the current SXSW announcement, we were not told that Save Point would join the Anti-Harassment Summit. This feels like another misstep from SXSW. Having an entire summit on Anti-Harassment could have been a really great endeavor.

“We recommended speakers, and worked with SXSW to really help curate and create what could have been a really fantastic, invigorating, and educational panel. We support Save Point being int he Gaming tract of SXSW but having their panel [sic] participant in the anti harassment creates multiple security concerns for new speakers as well as attendees. This just seems like further proof that SXSW does not understand harassment or how to produce a safe, inclusive and tolerant space for speakers and attendees.”

Randi Lee Harper, “Level Up” panelist and founder of the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative

“At this time, Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Gaming is not confirmed to be speaking at SXSW’s online harassment summit. We worked closely with SXSW over the past few days, but we were very surprised to find SXSW making GamerGate a part of the discussion about online harassment. While we fully support GamerGate being a part of SXSW Gaming, adding them to the summit creates a safety concern for many of the people who are currently scheduled to be participating. It is unfortunate that SXSW still lacks an understanding of online harassment, and I have no confidence in their ability to run this summit while keeping panelists safe and providing for a productive conversation.”

The debate continues:

This week in Tech also addressed this issue here:

See time 1hr 42mins here

And to Listen to Brianna talking about this issue at 2mins 52 seconds click here: