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The Internet News Games

SXSW Cancels Panels On Harassment Due To Harassment (sxsw.com) 618

New submitter rMortyH writes: Two panels on online harassment in gaming scheduled for the upcoming South by Southwest festival have been cancelled due to online harassment and threats. According to a statement from SXSW Director Hugh Forrest, "... in the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming. ... 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."
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SXSW Cancels Panels On Harassment Due To Harassment

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  • Or perhaps... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Q-Hack! ( 37846 ) *

    People are tired of the politically correct narrative, and this is their way of rebelling.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah man, it's just about ethics in game journalism.

    • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rwven ( 663186 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:17AM (#50807339)

      This has absolutely NOTHING to do with a "politically correct narrative." This is a bunch of asshole teenagers on the internet being led by a couple basement dwelling 40 year olds who are mad at everyone for no good reason.

      It's the dregs of humanity...on the internet...being assholes. Plain and simple.

      Not a single "threat" would have been followed through on because these people either never leave their homes, or they're still under their parent's jurisdiction.

      • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:56AM (#50807477)

        Bullshit.

        The feminists like Anita Sarkesian and Zoe Quinn always play the victim card but never back up what they say.

        If Gamergate taught me anything, it was to start looking really critically at wikipedia, because I was surprised at how their article on GG has nothing to do with reality. Since I followed this from the beginning. Of course, they only cite as "truth" the very journals and journalists that were directly involved in the scandals to begin with.

        And here is this feminist shit again. In another victim ruse. Basement dwelling losers don't give a shit about these too. Threats wouldn't be followed up on, not because they're losers, it's because I don't think the threats exist in the first place.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          What kind of proof would satisfy you? Why aren't you satisfied with the numerous screencaps, videos, actual threats given, etc. etc. especially in light of the r9k murders?

          • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by aevan ( 903814 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @03:04AM (#50807773)
            Beyond faking screenshots (editing the shot, editing the page), maybe not a 3-minutes-storm of multiple tweets with perfect punctuation and grammar by an account with no other posts, that were some how 'caught' within 12 seconds of its final message while not logged in to twitter? Cue Patreon link

            I'd also accept threat notifications submitted to the FBI and deemed credible, as opposed to submitted to twitter and deemed fund-able.

            If words were that worrisome, pretty sure most of us would be dead by that Navy Seal that likes to post.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The feminists like Anita Sarkesian and Zoe Quinn always play the victim card but never back up what they say.

          Anita Sarkeesian reviewed a bunch of games, or more accurately started a kickstarted to make "Tropes versus women in videogames" and got a shitstorm of harassment. Are you claiming she wasn't in fact a victim of harassment?

          And Zoe Quinn got a shitstorm of harassment over a review allegedly paid for by sex, except the review doesn't exist. So she got a shitstorm of harassment for something that never

          • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @05:44AM (#50808125) Homepage

            Anita Sarkeesian reviewed a bunch of games, or more accurately started a kickstarted to make "Tropes versus women in videogames" and got a shitstorm of harassment. Are you claiming she wasn't in fact a victim of harassment?

            Would that be, before or after she said she doesn't play video games? Oh she got some harassment, of course in her world criticism = harassment. She even said as much in front of the UN. And of course one can't forget that she refuses to debate anyone, or anything she says. But wants her garbage to be put in place in schools, and used as teaching material. Well that seems great, how'd that work out for Jack Thompson and his "games cause people to become psychopaths" bit.

            And Zoe Quinn got a shitstorm of harassment over a review allegedly paid for by sex, except the review doesn't exist. So she got a shitstorm of harassment for something that never happend. Still going to claim she wasn't a victim of harassment?

            You still can't figure it out huh? It wasn't a review, it was favorable coverage. She got mentions over a pile of other indie games, not once but several times. Those articles were written by the same person, without disclosure. And if I remember right, I posted the links on that to you the last time. You simply got all upset and stuck to the "but it was a review" which of course is what anti-gg people have been saying for a year, which gg folks haven't said. Of course one can't forget the amount of harassment that she's engaged in, like doxing the owner of a credit collection company, [reddit.com] or Of course you have to be pretty damn pathetic to dox a bunch of 30 year old loners and virgins who are already a mental wreck. [knowyourmeme.com]Of course she also belonged to helldump(part of SA), which was a notorious group of doxers who drove at least one person to suicide. [reddit.com] Yeah great face, for anti-harassment.

            Of course, one can't forget that PC gamer deleted all of Tyler Wilde's articles either. You know why? Because he was shacked up with Anne Marie Lewis who was a Ubisoft comm. associate. PC gamer believed that the articles were biased, and deleted them all and went further to have all existing search results on those articles purged.

            It seems what happened is a bunch of bullies picked on some people and are now deeply upset that other people sympathise with the victims of the harassment. Well crap, what did you think would happen?

            Well it appears people didn't want to hear anything about her, or her little talk going by the polling that SXSW had up. So she went crying off to twitter when she discovered that the GG panel was approved, and they pulled it on both.

            But I can't really blame SXSW. Considering the amount of crap that GG has put up with in the last year, it becomes more of a safety issue for pro-GG individuals. Since there have been at least a dozen confirmed bomb threats where GG has had their talks, panels and so on in the past. The most recent of course was the SPJ Airplay event, where the building was evacuated because of another credible threat that someone wanted to blow up pro-GG people.

            Can't forget people like Geordie Tait either, who said he wanted to use sarin gas to kill pro-GG people at PAX.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Would that be, before or after she said she doesn't play video games?

              Depends. Did she do the reviews of the games after playing them or not?

              Or is gaming so super special that someone who's not a gamer isn't allowed to start playing, form an opinion and then write about it?

              And of course one can't forget that she refuses to debate anyone, or anything she says.

              Yeah and? Did Roger Ebert ever engage his readers in debate? You have no right to expect someone to engage you in conversation. That's making a complete

              • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @06:52AM (#50808355) Homepage

                Depends. Did she do the reviews of the games after playing them or not?

                Or is gaming so super special that someone who's not a gamer isn't allowed to start playing, form an opinion and then write about it?

                Well no one knows if she's played the games she's supposedly writing on. Though she has had people play them, in order to choreograph specific things in order to make up a talking point. The hitman section in the stripclub dressing room would be a good instance of that.

                Perhaps it's just me, but if I was writing on a subject, I'd actually turn around and learn about it before writing about it. Especially if I want to have what I'm writing, be used as an academic source and for teaching materials. But who knows, maybe you have a much lower standard than most people, and are perfectly okay with that.

                Yeah and? Did Roger Ebert ever engage his readers in debate? You have no right to expect someone to engage you in conversation. That's making a completely unreasonable demand on their time.

                Roger Ebert never stated that his work should be used as an educational tool. She has. Of course people have offered her upwards of $10k to her, or the charity of her choice to have an open debate on what's she's written and she's never responded.

                That's blatantly rewriting history there. It was over a review of depression quest that the whole thing started. You know the one that didn't exist.

                Nope, the only person who's rewriting history is you. I've posted the articles for you before, and it was favorable coverage. You know, the ones that existed. Kind of like the stuff that was written by anna anthropy as well and another indie game developer, who anna was shacked up with and writing about. And there's the friends of hers she would write about and not disclose it.

                Good point! That entirely justifies harassing Sarkeesian and Quinn.

                So you keep saying, so why are you justifying the harassment of pro-GG people? Of course, you might also believe that disagreement and criticism of their work is harassment. Sure explains a lot, especially since most people once they reach highschool have to start defending their work in front of their peers.

                I'm lost: who are you talking about now?

                The stuff that's pertinent to the discussion. You did know that the polling information on the panels was posted and open. You do know that people voted in such low numbers on Harpers panel that it was declined. And she threw a hissyfit, and so did several other people calling on SXSW to cancel the Open Gaming Society panel.

                Confirmed? Where are the police reports?

                Well I'm guessing you're in the US, I'm not. So it won't cost you any money. But you can contact the Metro PD of Washington DC, and ask for the police reports on Local 16 bomb threats. They may or may not fill that one, because of the location and they've probably classified it as a possible terrorist event. And you can also give the PD in Miami Florida and ask specifically about the bomb threats at Koubek Center.

                Another good point! That entirely justifies the harassment of Quinn and Sarkeesian.

                So that explains why you're openly supporting the harassment of people in Gamergate huh? Sure explains a lot, they're "not the right kind of people" for you.

          • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:13AM (#50809539)

            Oh, Anita Sarkeesian, is a victim alright--a professional one.

            • Oh, Anita Sarkeesian, is a victim alright--a professional one.

              Translation: I don't like that the harassment campaign made her and her videos much more popular.

              Seriously the whole "professional victim" claims is just poop flinging by people (including you) trying to shout down opinions they don't like. She never set out to raise $160,000 on kickstarter. She set out to raise $6,000.

              If the SJWs hadn't tried to bully her off the internet she would have got nowhere near the $160,000 she raised. It's not her faul

              • Translation: I don't like that the harassment campaign made her and her videos much more popular.

                No. Translation: Anita Sarkeesian gets paid a lot of money for promoting herself as a victim.

                Seriously the whole "professional victim" claims is just poop flinging by people (including you) trying to shout down opinions they don't like.

                What an delightfully ironic charge, coming from a side that literally wants to criminalize any criticism of its own position.

                It's not her fault, it's collectively your fault.

                Oh, I'm used to it. I'm a white heterosexual male, so everything bad is ALWAYS my fault.

                That also doesn't make her a professional victim

                No, the fact that she gets paid to speak about her victimhood and actively publicizes herself as a victim in order to promote those paid speeches is what makes her a professional victim.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rhazz ( 2853871 )
          When will gamergate become the new Godwin's law? Honestly it seems impossible for any conversation about harassment to exist at all without resorting to bringing up GG FUD. The only thing regarding harassment that you can take from gamergate is that there is a HUGE potential for harassment in the gaming community regardless of who started it, who deserved it, who was making a valid point, or who is a troll. And now it's impossible to have any kind of public conversation about harassment in that community be
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Psychopaths play PvP games all of the time, in fact they are the big spenders or the big cheaters, winning by skill means nothing to them, winning is all there is. Those are the players you have to deal with and while they typically are cowards, they can go off much like a explosive, if they are triggered by an excess of frustration. Would they hunt and stalk the female speakers, if those speakers we seen as victims by the psychopaths, most definitely. Those psychopaths come in all ages, types and levels o

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        This has absolutely NOTHING to do with a "politically correct narrative." This is a bunch of asshole teenagers on the internet being led by a couple basement dwelling 40 year olds who are mad at everyone for no good reason.

        It's the dregs of humanity...on the internet...being assholes. Plain and simple.

        Not a single "threat" would have been followed through on because these people either never leave their homes, or they're still under their parent's jurisdiction.

        Actually, what's sad is after spending YEARS ge

    • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:54AM (#50807467)

      Yeah.. It's just as likely that this 'cancellation' is nothing more than a publicity stunt design to 'signal boost' 'awareness' of the 'problem.'

      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."

      Interesting. Marketplace of ideas, eh? I guess this guy's been watching certain vids on youtube. Too bad his 'new way of thinking' is newspeak jargon for 'politically correct' speech, which has no room for any other kind.

  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:15AM (#50807335)
    This is one of those things that's gotten too far out of hand. Now is not the time to have a rational conversation, that's impossible, now is the time to sit on it for a while so that we can come back to it later without quite so much yelling.
    • by rho ( 6063 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @02:25AM (#50807693) Homepage Journal

      This is one of those things that SXSW doesn't want to burn a lot of calories on trying to wrangle. SXSW is still mostly focussed on music and movies. Nerds fighting over video game politics are not in the wheelhouse.

      Put another way, you go to SXSW to have a great time. You do not go there because you want to fight over ideology. Nobody from the alt-rock music scene is making angry Tweets because the alt-country guys have a venue, nor vice versa. As far as SXSW is concerned, both factions are music fans who might find common ground, but otherwise are not interested in open warfare.

      Activists on games, they're not so chill. (They'll become chill, after gaming has passed through the "Fonzie Barrier," where rebellion and fear mellow and become folksy humor.)

      TL;DR: SXSW isn't interested in burning resources on your gay slapfight over who's right on the Internet.

    • The problem is that there is money to be made in continuing to pick at the scab, rather than letting it heal. If you're running an online news/opinion outlet, then stories on issues like this are guaranteed page-views and ad-views. Hell, if you get a flamewar going in the comments section, then you've got hundreds of people refreshing the page constantly (more adviews), posting fresh replies, then going back to refreshing the page to watch for people following up on their posts. Meanwhile, an informative ne

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:21AM (#50807351)

    When you define disagreement as harassment, there is no way to have discussion.

    • It works the other way, too. If you define harrassment as a disagreement...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      South Park has been covering this stuff brilliantly this season. If you haven't seen it, watch Safe Spaces [cc.com]. It covers the problems with the idea of "safe spaces" far better than I ever could.

      Also relevant is Stunning and Brave [cc.com] which covers SJWs better than I ever could - the people whose threats caused the panels to be pulled in the first place. (In case anyone was unclear, a bunch of gamers wanted to do a panel about anti-gamers trying to ruin the online community. The anti-gamers responded by calling bomb

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When you define harassment (including rape and death threats) as disagreement, you're an idiot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:24AM (#50807357)

    Within game journalism. Hosted by The Open Gaming Society. Lynn Walsh was slated to speak.

    Had nothing to do with harassment, unless the fact that Gawker apologists keep sending them bomb threats and trying to portray them as some kind of anti-women terrorist group counts. They pulled the same shit at an SPJ meeting, crickets from the press.

  • Panels (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:25AM (#50807365)

    FWIW, the cancelled panels and some info from Googles cache:

    SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community
    We are attempting to organize a panel that we’d like to hold at SXSW 2016’s Interactive (Gaming) conference. The panel will focus heavily on discussions regarding the current social/political landscape in the gaming community, the journalistic integrity of gaming’s journalists, and the ever-changing gaming community, video game development, and their future. We will encourage honest critique and open dialogue between panelists and audience members, and will attempt to create a space where we can all speak on the social-political issues.

    Speakers:
    Lynn Walsh
    Mercedes Carrera
    Nick Robalik
    Perry Jones

    Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games
    A panel from experts on online harassment in gaming and geek culture, how to combat it, how to design against it, and how to create online communities that are moving away from harassment. The panel will dive into data around abuse in larger gaming communities. One of our panelists will talk about about ways to actually develop the social aspects of games - including UI decisions and how they can influence accuracy and usage of reporting abuse. Another will dive into UX design choices to stymy harassment in social media spaces.

    Speakers:
    Caroline Sinders
    Katherine Cross
    Randi Harper

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:29AM (#50807375)

      Was run by someone who passes around blacklists and tells people to set themselves on fire. Tells you everything you need to know about these "harassment" accusations.

      http://www.ship2block20.com/hidden-face-hypocrisy-randi-harper/

      Meanwhile Savepoint had a journalist and a game dev on board.

  • by The Fat Bastid ( 1436653 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:31AM (#50807385)
    From what I've seen there was 1 panel for each side. #SavePoint by the open gaming society Level Up panel organized by Randi Harper Both sides were harassed. Both canceled. OGS statement here: http://www.theopengamingsociet... [theopengamingsociety.org]
    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:56AM (#50807481)

      What I don't get is why SXSW didn't just provide them both some security, instead of this reaction. SXSW is a big organization and can afford it, and the amount of security needed is realistically probably not huge. This isn't like hosting a Mohammed Cartoons talk or American Nazi Party talk or something, where you might worry that you'd have a large number of possibly militant people show up to disrupt it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:38AM (#50807407)

    So, GamerGate's first large meetup in Washington, D.C. was disrupted by a bomb threat.

    Then, GamerGate's panels in Airplay were disrupted by several bomb threats, despite precautions taken against possible bombs by the SPJ at the venue.

    Now, their panel at SXSW was cancelled due to threats of violence and harassment.

    The fact that they cannot seem to peacefully assemble, which is defined as a basic human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (among many other human rights documents), should be concerning no matter what your position on GamerGate is.

  • Predictable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by r-diddly ( 4140775 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @12:39AM (#50807411)
    "Gee I wonder what this Slashdot comment thread will look like...."
  • by TooManyNames ( 711346 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @01:09AM (#50807527)

    Thinking of just a recent example, some feminist (Laughing Witch) started and participated in a letter-writing campaign in order to get a particular anti-feminist (Thunderf00t) fired from his job. This letter contained several falsehoods and embellishments, and sought to leverage laws that could potentially lead to an unwarranted arrest. Pretty damn low.

    In response to this, Thunderf00t found out where Laughing Witch worked and initiated a campaign to leave negative reviews of that business, since she was one of the company's officers. Answering the call with cult-like obedience, several of Thunderf00t's followers left fake, negative reviews of the business, and also tried writing letters of their own to get the woman fired. They reasoned that anyone else who happened to work for the business simply should have known better than to work alongside such a woman. Just as low.

    Out of curiosity, I tried to point out how unethical the actions of both Laughing Witch and Thunderf00t were. Talk about bonkers. On the SJW side, Laughing Witch was of course justified, and any criticism of her tactic was somehow victim blaming. On the MRA side, any employees who would be harmed were just acceptable collateral damage in a round of karmic justice. On both sides, reasoned argument was something no longer considered of any use; instead, silencing the opponent (somewhat viciously) was considered the only option.

    Both sides of this thing now view the debate as a war, and both sides are resorting to ever more despicable tactics.

    • Let's talk tactical ethics. I don't follow this battle closely, but if I ignore the underlying issues and accept the facts as you present them, the MRAs' lack of concern about collateral damage means that both sides are *not* equally terrible.

      Whatever the ethics of attacking your debate opponent's career, attacking their coworkers' careers is definitely not okay. Whichever side is doing it.

    • by TimMD909 ( 260285 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @03:39AM (#50807831) Homepage
      Way to misrepresent what happened. Jennifer Keller (aka Laughing Witch) showed her real name in letter(s) before sending it out to Thunderf00t's employer, police, and anyone else she could think of. In her pursuit of attacking Thunderf00t, she exposed her real name with enough information to Google her in under 60 seconds. Thunderf00t made a video calling her out on it and nothing more. Thunderf00t never asked for nor condoned harassing the witch. The witch, however, actively tried to recruit more people to help amplify her vitriol. So tell me again who is using despicable tactics?
      • by N1AK ( 864906 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @04:57AM (#50808023) Homepage

        Way to misrepresent what happened.

        To be fair to them it's really hard to get anything like an unbiased picture of anything remotely related to discrimination in gaming. You can find content about this that covers it as a harassment campaign against a business by 'MRAs' to attempts to get a scientist fired by an 'SJW' based on letters full of lies. The coverage invariably matches the underlying position of the organisation or forum that it features on.

      • So tell me again who is using despicable tactics?

        Both Laughing Witch and Thunderf00t's followers are using despicable tactics. This is not an either-or situation.

  • Panel of experts? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @01:12AM (#50807539)

    The "panel" included Randi Harper - one of the most notorious trolls on the internet. I can only guess she's considered an expert because she has engaged in so much abuse that she can spot it a mile away.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-j... [breitbart.com]

    This person is a horrible human being who should not be given any kind of soap box from which to speak.

    • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      Randi Harper, also known as 'freebsdgirl'...
  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @01:34AM (#50807589)
    "People are sick of the politically correct narrative! SJWs won't stop playing the victim card!"

    THIS WAS A PRO-GAMERGATE PANEL YOU NUMBNUTS. MERCEDES CARRERA WAS ONE OF THE PANELISTS.

    I'm not even IN it anymore and I knew that, but people here see "panel about harassment in gaming at SXSW" and they go full fucking cultist. Incidentally, this kind of dumb shit is WHY I'm not in it. The longer any given group exists on the internet, the more likely it will turn into a bunch of howler monkeys that get triggered and assblasted by words they're afraid of. The fact that tumblr SJ trash did it first and loudest doesn't make this any less idiotic.
  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by x0ra ( 1249540 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @01:53AM (#50807629)
    Curiously when Christina Hoff Sommers get threat from SJW, to the point where she need police protection, it doesn't make it to /. ...
  • by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @02:13AM (#50807669)

    Dear SXSW:

    Grow some balls.

  • by Any Web Loco ( 555458 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @03:21AM (#50807797) Homepage
    The Slashdot comments on any story related to women in gaming, or women in tech more generally, always bring Lewis' Law to mind.
  • by SlovakWakko ( 1025878 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @05:09AM (#50808047)
    Really, even Randall Munroe would have to work very hard to beat this one :)
  • In a country where law enforcement seems quite eager to use lethal force agains perceived threats, why are death threats like those mentioned numerous times here not at least investigated by relevant law enforcement agencies?

    In all seriousness, violence or threats of the same are not part of 'debate'. If anyone is laboring under that illusion, it's high time grownups stepped in, preferably with law enforcement of the anti-terrorist kind in tow. In civilized countries, death threats could easily lead to jail time.
  • Up at the top of the page it says "News for nerds".

    OK, fellow nerds, let's remember our school days.

    Remember how quick the thugs were to yell "He started it!"? Remember the adults who were supposed to keep things safe dismissing assaults in the restroom and saying we just needed to learn how to handle teasing? Remember how the bullies traveled with entourages who thought they were cool?

    People like that are running around in adult bodies now. We all have the background to see them for what they are. We must oppose them immediately and unconditionally, or we are on their side.

    Hint: the instant you start making any excuse for any threat of violence from any side of an argument, you are in the wrong.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @04:29PM (#50812811) Homepage

    Good money says that certain kinds of perpetual victims cancelled something for fear of hearing the truth.

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