BuzzFeed threat to pull out of SXSW Interactive Conference has online world abuzz

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NEW YORK, NY – With Uncle Sam sending a warship to warn China about territorial waters around some man-made islands in the South China Sea, and with millions of Middle-Eastern refugees facing cold and hunger as the European winter closes in, the online gaming world is all a-buzz over BuzzFeed threat to pull out of the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin next March.

SXSW canceled two panels related to gaming and online harassment because of what organizers said were numerous threats of on-site violence.

A statement by SXSW Interactive Director Hugh Forest said “maintaining civil and respectful dialogue within the big tent is more important than any particular session.”

BuzzFeed honchos responded with a letter to SXSW, saying “digital harassment . . . has emerged as an urgent challenge for the tech companies for whom your conference is an important forum,” adding that “those targets of harassment, who include our journalists, do important work in spite of these threats.”

So BuzzFeed issued its own threat to pull its speakers or panelists if SXSW can’t figure out how to conduct business as usual the way all other targets of harassment do every day.

SXSWhasn’t responded to BuzzFeed’s threat, but as BuzzFeed pointed out, they have five months to come up with something.