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Current Events PopWrapped | Current Events

SXSW Adds Online Harassment Summit After Internet Backlash

Shannon Beaty | PopWrapped Author

Shannon Beaty

11/03/2015 5:03 am
PopWrapped | Current Events
SXSW Adds Online Harassment Summit After Internet Backlash | SXSW
Media Courtesy of Twitter

A couple days ago, SXSW cancelled two gaming panels, due to threats of violence from the toxic side of the Gamergate problem. The two panels were Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games and SavePoint: A Dicussion of the Gaming Community, which were to feature some of gaming's biggest experts on horrible online harassment as well as those expressing the importance of ethics in journalism. Gamergate has been like a wildfire that rages on, and by cancelling two very important panels as a knee-jerk reaction to threats (which go on endlessly anyway), the internet replied by lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks.

Now, seeing the error of their ways, the people at SXSW have planned a day-long summit that will address online harassment. During the day on March 12th, the summit will be live-streamed for free, which is a wonderful way to come back from the previous cancellation mistake. Katherine Cross, Randi Harper and Caroline Sinders were slated for the Level Up panel, and Perry Jones, Lynn Walsh, and Mercedes Carrera were set for SavePoint, but will now all be speaking during the summit alongside many other amazing people:

  • Monika Bickert (Head of Product Policy, Facebook)

  • Soraya Chemaly (Writer/Director, WMC Speech Project)

  • Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts)

  • Wendy Davis (Women's Rights Advocate; former TX State Senator)

  • Mark DeLoura (VP Technology, formerly with Sony, Nintendo, Google, and White House OSTP)

  • Mary Anne Franks (Law Professor, University of Miami School of Law and Legislative & Tech Policy Director, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative)

  • Jonathan Greenblatt (CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League)

  • Umair Haque (

  • Sarah Jeong (Contributing Editor, Vice Motherboard)

  • Emma J. Llansó (Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology)

  • Emily May (Co-founder and Executive Director, Hollaback!)

  • Kelly McBride (Vice President of Academic Programs, The Poynter Institute)

  • Shireen Mitchell (Founder, Digital Sisters and Stop Online Violence Against Women)

  • Nika Nour (Director, Communications and Creative Strategies, Internet Association)

  • Meredith L. Patterson (Security Researcher)

  • Joseph Reagle (Northeastern University and Author, “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web”)

  • Jeffrey Rosen (President & CEO, National Constitution Center)

  • Lee Rowland (Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project)

  • Ari Ezra Waldman (Associate Professor of Law, New York Law School)

  • Brianna Wu (Head of Development, Giant Spacekat)

Props to SXSW for not only fixing the situation, but for also stepping up their efforts that much more. Online harassment is no joke, and should be addressed with the utmost seriousness. Measures are also being taken to ensure that the summit will be a safe one, as there are bound to be bad eggs out there on the internet ready and willing to ruin a good thing... the very thing that wants to shut their disgusting behavior down.


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