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The Internet

SXSW Reinstates Panels On Harassment, Adds All-Day Harassment Summit (arstechnica.com) 478

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, the South by Southwest Festival announced that it had canceled a pair of panels about online harassment after receiving threats involving them. The cancellation generated a massive outcry, including threats from media organizations to withdraw their support for the festival. Now, SXSW has announced that they're reinstating the panels as part of an all-day summit dedicated to talking about online harassment. They said, "By canceling two sessions we sent an unintended message that SXSW not only tolerates online harassment but condones it, and for that we are truly sorry. The resulting feedback from the individuals involved and the community-at-large resonated loud and clear. While we made the decision in the interest of safety for all of our attendees, canceling sessions was not an appropriate response." They've scheduled more than two dozen speakers for the event, and they plan to stream it live online. "Online harassment is a serious matter and we stand firmly against hate speech and cyber-bullying. It is a menace that has often resulted in real world violence; the spread of discrimination; increased mental health issues and self-inflicted physical harm."
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SXSW Reinstates Panels On Harassment, Adds All-Day Harassment Summit

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I virtually kick their asses in cyberspace. I stuff their bits into lockers and turn all their 1s into 0s. Why are they hitting themselves?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:02PM (#50834117)

    Plan to have panels about online harassment. Harassed into canceling those plans. Then reinstate the plans?

    I don't know what the lesson is here!

    • welcome to the harassment panel, you damn wusses. thought you could get out of this one, eh? I'm Sarge, and you're nothing..........

  • by quietwalker ( 969769 ) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:05PM (#50834151)

    First by cancelling the panels due to threats, then by reinstating them due to threats!

    The lesson to learn here kids: threats works!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:13PM (#50834221)

      You're saying those who wanted them not cancelled were making threats equivalent to threats of actual violence?

      I don't know about you but I think pulling out of participation of an event, or withdrawing an advertiser, is not actually quite the fucking same as making threats of on-site violence.

      FML

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Hmm... threats of hyperbolic violent harm that couldn't POSSIBLY happen or

        Threats of actual economic harm that was ABSOLUTELY going to happen.

        Definitely not the same at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Fucked if you do, fucked if you don't.

      They owned up to their mistake, and listened to what people were telling them. They deserve some credit.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Everyone already knows that. Look at how people but up with invasive security/safety procedures under the threat of being placed on a No-Fly list.

  • by Sir_Eptishous ( 873977 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:11PM (#50834191) Homepage
    SXSW used to be about puking your guts out at 9am after an all nighter, then killing it at shows later that night.

    Panels about online harrasment?!?
    That is on par with assigning an ip to your bidet, logging in to FB through it, then posting updates while using it.
    • by quietwalker ( 969769 ) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:15PM (#50834239)

      You're thinking of SXSW Music. SXSW has split into 3 parts: Music, Film, and Interactive. This is SXSW Interactive. SXSW Music doesn't even start until SXSW is over.

      There's also 7 different exhibitions: http://www.sxsw.com/marketing/... [sxsw.com]

      • Sorry, meant to type "Until SXSW Music is over".

      • SXSW has split into 3 parts: Music, Film, and Interactive. This is SXSW Interactive. SXSW Music doesn't even start until SXSW is over.

        There's also 7 different exhibitions:

        Oh, right, to go along with:
        SXSW Floral Design
        SXSW Crafting
        and my favorite:
        SXSW Power Walking

    • It is billed as a music and film festival. So I'm kind of curious what kind of music they play during the harassment panel. Harassment is a growing problem, do you go pop? Or do you use music to highlight the issues in society and go rap? Me, I say quit being a victim and stir up the masses to fight the problem: metal all the way baby.

      • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:25PM (#50834339) Journal

        Harassment isn't a growing problem; it's getting media attention at this time.

        Throughout all of history, even in the Victorian age, people have fucked other people's wives; why do you think mistresses are a long-time common theme of a man's life in old stories, or weddings end with something about reasons two people shouldn't be married? The priest isn't asking you if the bride is a lying bitch; he's asking if the bride's dad secretly fucked the groom's mom one drunken night and so the dude is marrying his sister. We have a huge narrative about how the moral fiber of society is degrading, how teenagers are starting to sexualize themselves, how you never had people fucking their teachers in the 1920s or 1950s, teen pregnancy is the new thing, etc; all of that's been a constant theme through history, and teachers kept on fucking 12-year-old schoolgirls right through the ages where we pushed marriage from 12 to 18.

        The same narrative is happening with harassment. It's a problem, sure; it's not a new or growing problem, though. Harassment has been with us since man figured out how to call some other man an ignorant little shit in front of his friends in order to elevate his own social status. Now instead of being afraid to leave your house because the big kid from school is waiting around the corner to jump you and give you a wedgie, you're afraid to get on Facebook because the big kid from school is waiting to tell you your tits are too small. Same shit, different day.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kierthos ( 225954 )

          But being able to harass someone while not even in the same city/county/state/country is relatively new.

          Back in Victorian England, if you wanted to harass someone, you pretty much had to be where they were. I really don't see there having been a whole lot of harassment by telegraph. Maybe newspaper, sure. But that was about the limit.

          Now? You don't even have to be in the same state to dox someone or SWAT them. So, the nature of harassment may not have changed a lot, the method of delivering it has.

          • You could send them black spots and pay people in their area to harass them. This was uncommon; but so is harassing people on Facebook from another state.
        • The priest isn't asking you if the bride is a lying bitch; he's asking if the bride's dad secretly fucked the groom's mom one drunken night and so the dude is marrying his sister.

          While this moment has been used for many things in movies, it's really for a previous spouse to stand up and state they are still married to one of the two. Even then its use as more than a formality (a marriage is a public statement of committment before God.. and witnesses) is long over.

      • Fucking Slayer.
        • "Hey, you guys in the front, here? Keep an eye on each other, alright? If you see someone going down, help them out, alright? That's what you're here to do, help each other out. This is a song called WAAAAR ENSAMMMMMBLLLLEEEEE!"
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        Rap. Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine.

        I don't anything else modern comes close to being good protest music.

    • That is on par with assigning an ip to your bidet, logging in to FB through it, then posting updates while using it.

      Hey, it's my first attempt at a blog, ok?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm laughing so hard. I might piss myself. Please, send help.
    This is just too funny.
    First they cancel a harassment panel due to harassment, now they reinstate it due to more harassment.

    Their submissiveness is hilarious.
    Grow a fucking spine. No wonder nobody takes you people seriously.
    Back in the stupid ages, people like that died young, or became slaves to others.
    Oh, wait, it still happens now. I repeat, grow a spine.

    They'll still not be taken seriously. They already doomed their panels, this is just m

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 )

      They cancelled the panels due to harassment and threats.

      They reinstated the panels due to several organizations saying that if the panels weren't reinstated, the organizations wouldn't show up to the event.

      There's a bit of a difference there.

      • by Raseri ( 812266 )

        They reinstated the panels due to several organizations saying that if the panels weren't reinstated, the organizations wouldn't show up to the event.

        That's a threat, dude.

        • by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:44PM (#50834503) Homepage

          It's a matter of scale.

          "Cancel {X} or we'll do violence to you!" vs. "Reinstate {X} or we're not showing up."

          There is no crime committed by the latter.

  • by Raseri ( 812266 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @02:26PM (#50834345)

    [text on a screen] is a menace that has often resulted in real world violence

    Oh, really? And where can we view these spooky words with magical powers?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dskoll ( 99328 )

      You don't believe that text (and videos and images) can incite real-world violence? How naive of you. How do you suppose ISIS gets its recruits if not via propaganda?

      Yeah, that's an extreme example, but there are tons of other examples of people being incited to violence by mere words. Just watch any speeches made by genocidal megalomaniacs just prior to a genocide.

      Freedom of speech is important. It needs protection for sure. But it's also no good to deny that speech can cause real harm.

      • by Raseri ( 812266 )
        No, you're right. Everyone who ever read Mein Kampf or watched a video of Hitler giving a speech immediately went out and killed Jews. Because words have that much sway over mentally stable humans.
    • If only all those kids that killed themselves because of being bullied online could have just seen this comment,you could have saved them! I suggest sharing this post all over the internet! More people need to see this great wisdom you've bestowed upon us! Rejoice! YOU HAVE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ENDED ALL HATRED AND EVIL JUST BY POINTING OUT THAT WORDS ARE NOT PHYSICAL THINGS
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Friday October 30, 2015 @03:57PM (#50835025) Homepage

      Head over to google.com and look at the text ads. Turn on the TV, wait for the advert break. Read some paid articles in the newspaper.

      If words were really powerless advertising wouldn't work. Like it or not, things people read clearly affect them.

      Head over to /r/RedPill and tell me that the people there are not profoundly affected by the stuff they read. They just decided to act like that one day and post about it, up to and including violence.

  • GamerGate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait for day when we all look back on this drama and realize how silly we were back end.

    It's strange how people on the internet will get emotionally invested in something so menial and use it as a battleground for their political ideologies.

    And before someone says "Well its because of the..", No. Both side are guilty of this and both sides are equally annoying.

    • The reason this is still a thing is because there are people who are paid to be involved in it, and have made being on either 'side' their actual job.

    • Careful now, there's real money to be had (by both sides) pandering to those overly sensitive to this menial stuff. Oh, and you just initiated a countdown for some butt-hurt keyboard warrior to come to the defense of their cause saying, "there is no moral equivalency" for whatever side they fall on.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    After searching through a few pages of /r/games and /r/gamernews you don't see a blip about this event, but if you look on /r/girlgamers it's right on the first page. Below is a response to the original cancellations from one of the SxSW panelists. You should honestly read the whole thing in the link provided. It gets nasty. REAL nasty and paints a perfect picture of what happens when a SJW with an agenda doesn't get his or her way right down to threatening to publicly shaming the event during their own pan

    • by Raseri ( 812266 )
      Oh, that's rich coming from that guy. Search his name, this is the fifth result:

      http://www.cbssports.com/general/writer/gregg-doyel/24628550/chris-kluwe-cant-be-moral-crusader-after-his-cruel-twitter-rant

      I can't say I'm surprised. This is like those Moral Majority idiots that always end up having 50 mistresses and a stable of Thai fuckboys.
  • I know this view is very unpopular with a large segment of the population, but I can't help but subscribe to it regardless.

    There are people being tortured to death in Syria. There are people being tortured to death in Sudan. There are people being tortured [to death?] in American "detention centers". But American society today focuses on the injustice of virtual harassment online. Really?

    I'm not suggesting that we can't worry about first world problems until we feed Africa or anything like that. I unde
  • by evilRhino ( 638506 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @03:24PM (#50834833)
    There were two panels that were cancelled. The one anti-harassment and one media corruption. It seems like the media boycott got the anti-harassment panel reinstated, but they don't have any serious problem with nobody caring about media corruption for some reason. It must be because the only ones that care about media corruption are all serious harassers like Anne Rice, The David Pakman Show, or KFC.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @04:13PM (#50835131)

    Whole day of panels on harassment

    Oh right, they put together a whole day teaching people how to harass others online, gathering all of the most epic trolls from around the world to one location...

    Obviously gathered for the purpose of a targeted military strike by forum moderators the world over.

    Remind me to stay the hell away from Austin that day!

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