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#gamergate evil SJWs harassment misogyny threats

SXSW panel on harassment cancelled due to harassment. No, really.

SXSW’s Big Tent (Artist’s conception)

Another one for the HUGE GIGANTIC IRONY file: A panel on online harassment, scheduled for the 2016 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, was cancelled today due to threats of violence.

The panel organizer, Caroline Sinders, got an email from SXSW organizers explaining that the panel wouldn’t be happening because

we have already received numerous threats of violence regarding this panel, so a civil and respectful environment seems unlikely in March in Austin.

The note went on to explain that “[f]or this reason, we have also cancelled other sessions at the 2016 event that focused on the Gamergate controversy.”

By “other sessions” SXSW actually meant only one other session, a putative discussion of “the Gaming Community” featuring a panel of Gamergaters.

The panel on harassment, while featuring Gamergate critics/targets Randi Lee Harper and Katherine Cross, was not intended to be an anti-Gamergate panel as such, but a wider discussion of harassment online.

SXSW’s public statement on the cancellation of both panels, which echoed some of the language of the email sent to Sinders, had a weird, victim-blamey tone to it. Declaring that “SXSW prides itself on being a big tent and a marketplace of diverse people and diverse ideas,” the statement went on to explain why SXSW had tossed both panels out of the tent:

[P]reserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful. 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.

Of course, the “marketplace of ideas” is also compromised if harassers can shut down discussions they don’t like with threats.

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weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

So, women who don’t like being harassed and abused have to agree to disagree with their harassers or they’re not being civil and respectful? And even though they actually agree to do that, they’re silenced anyway because nothing outside of complete submission will fail to anger the harassers?

Seems legit!

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the majority of the people who run SXSW are white dudes.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

@WWTH

In the previous post someone was just suggesting that Sarkeesian isn’t doing enough to end her own harassing (don’t ask me, I didn’t get their point either). The lovely flip-side of this rusty, smelly old coin is that if you dare to speak about harassing, you’re being a major disrespectful stick in the mud.

I’ve also heard this from a guy who fancies himself extra special aware. “Women should do something about how they’re treated, men aren’t just going to *give* them space.” Thanks for advice. May I return advice? Advice broken.

Orion
6 years ago

I really only know of SXSW as a music event. Evidently it’s rather more than that? What is it like?

Duck Apologist (@Prios)

Got in an argument on ifMUD with a number of people who were obviously determined to believe that the anti-harassment panelists were Just Too Dangerous to allow a panel to and that they were jeopardizing the safety of SXSW by being targets, and that they clearly need to be restricted to an unattended “PowerKegCon” because they’re “unhostable” (read: there’s thugs and monsters who would scream death threats at them if they hosted a panel on pretty much anything.)

Oh, and that somehow SXSW just admitting “we can’t guarantee your safety” to the panelists would be surrendering to terrorists, while this current statement and action somehow isn’t.

It has put me in a grisly, hateful mood. I probably shouldn’t be on the internet at all in my current frame of mind.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

Also, David, thanks for the puppies. As a dog person I am warmly comforted by them and their TINY TENT. <4

Chayanov
Chayanov
6 years ago

So “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” translates to “If you’re the target of harassment you’re not welcome here”?

entropyjukebox
6 years ago

The irony of inhibiting free speech in the defense of “free speech”. The “marketplace of ideas” is reduced anyway and the effectiveness of threatened violence is further propagated. Are these the same people who believe we should never negotiate with terrorists? The appropriate reaction would have been to cancel ALL game-related events at SXSW, with the “strong community management” message of “clean up your industry before you expect a presence here”.

Duck Apologist (@Prios)

Like, it went sort of like this:

“Well I don’t see what SXSW could do except get armed guards”

So why don’t they just say something like that instead of this?

“Well if they said we can’t protect you as the reason for pulling the panel, it’d encourage more threats”

How does this route not encourage more threats? They said ‘we got threats and for reasons related to that we’re pulling your panel,’ how is that not communicating ‘make threats, get panel you’re mad about pulled?’

“Both panels would probably turn into shouting matches anyway”

A panel about dealing with harassment would turn into a shouting match? It wasn’t a FUCK GAMERGATE panel, it was a panel about dealing with online harassment in general. And if somebody did try to turn it into shouting match they’d just be escorted out as disruptive.

“The threats were threats of violence not just threats of being disruptive”

I was talking about the shouting match thing? Not the threats. But speaking of that, honestly though it doesn’t matter what panel they host, no matter how tame, they’d probably get threats anyway.

“Sounds like they need PowderKegCon for unhostables *lots of joking about the idea*”

I just gave up and quit.

Caroline
Caroline
6 years ago

I really, really hope SXSW gets some backlash for this. But I doubt they’ll even care.

That smug tone of theirs really annoys me. As if somehow Anita was being “disagreeable” because of… what exactly? Just by nature of her being targeted by a bunch of misogynistic jerks?

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

I was saving these in case we hit a very tight spot but I suppose I can always come back to page one for some comfort.

http://www.vastavalo.fi/albums/userpics/10224/normal_DSC_2049_antje.jpg
comment image

http://www.outa.fi/joomla3/images/stories/1-2011/teltta_apsidi_lilli.jpg

And finally, these furry friends are just camping:

http://www.outa.fi/joomla3/images/stories/1-2015/259.jpg
comment image

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

What I want to know is why they were holding a pro-#GG panel in the first place, when every other big-name con booted their arses out a year ago.

Makes me think they care less about civility, respectability and the “Big tent” and more about being Fair And Balanced™.

loquora
6 years ago

I saw this too: https://twitter.com/ashleylynch/status/658758037251952640/?

And the edit at the end of this article suggests that the GG panel might still be happening: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/sxsw-cancels-gaming-panels-due-to-threats-of-violence

The rabbit hole is deep and disgusting.

inchoaterica
6 years ago

It’s funny how a “consumer revolt”, so-called, which was scared that people critiquing video games were “censoring” (sic) them despite having not even the barest proof of such censorship efforts existing…is now itself trying to shout down any discussion of how to cope with harassment online?

It’s not enough that GooberGrape has defamed gamers like me who just want to play games without being told we’ll accept harassment. Now strangers see gaming as even scarier than before and I’m scared to call myself a gamer around strangers because of the concerted efforts of GooberGrape to tar the name of gamers.

No, now you can’t discuss harassment online, or otherwise out comes the wrath of MRAGamerGate. Because how dare anyone who disagrees with this “consumer revolt” dare to speak in public?

sxsw’s decision has a chilling effect o the very free discourse GooberGrape claimed was what it was trying to protect. I guess it’s different when threats of violence get the same result a government should have in censorship, eh?

But actually it’s about…god it’s not even funny anymore.

itsabeast
itsabeast
6 years ago

I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of their statement–I think it was directed at harassers who can’t express their opinions civilly and ruin things for everyone.

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
6 years ago

Most of the SXSW long-timers I know stopped attending years ago because it became too crowded and douche-y. Have never been myself, and this development is not nudging me in that direction.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I’m way too sore after aerials yesterday for proper thought, but am popping by to go AWWWW LOOK AT THE DOGGIES!!!

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

It’s sad that this fancy-schmancy conference can’t do better than this for women and other people who don’t like being harassed.

The dogs are great. I’m particularly struck by ‘Ol Blue Eyes at the end, who seems to be saying, “That’s my person over there. Impressive, huh?”

philosopheria
6 years ago

SXSW is not just a music festival anymore but a big film and tech festival too. It has a big draw for their tech conference and dozens of sessions. What’s it like? I think it’s fun, not really douche-y, and I’d love to afford to go again. Also, I got to see the amazing Catherine Keener speak after showing her film there and that makes it awesome forever for me.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

Over on Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams comes out against the sexual assault of men.

Will the cognitive dissonance of a woman — and a feminist — disapproving of men being sexually brutalized cause MRA heads to explode?

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/26/simulated_rape_with_a_bottle_isnt_a_drunken_jackass_prank_when_will_we_get_real_about_men_and_sexual_assault/#comments

Note that Williams isn’t just any old feminist. She’s the woman whom Paul Elam accused of killing MRA Earl Silverman.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/mary-elizabeth-williams-killed-earl-silverman/

Film at 10.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

In the previous post someone was just suggesting that Sarkeesian isn’t doing enough to end her own harassing (don’t ask me, I didn’t get their point either). The lovely flip-side of this rusty, smelly old coin is that if you dare to speak about harassing, you’re being a major disrespectful stick in the mud.

This reminds me of a comic I saw (I can’t find it now) that addressed harrassment/groping at cons. It went something like

=========

Woman: Bob Smith harrassed and groped me last night.
Assorted chucklefucks: What is wrong with you? Why would you name names? Do you want to wreck Bob’s life? You’re probably lying anyway, Bob is a great person. You were probably asking for it!

==========

Woman: I was harassed and treated inappropriately last night, but I can’t/don’t want to name the person who did it.
Assorted chucklefucks: If you can’t name them, then I bet you’re just making it up! Trying to get some attention! Why else would you be afraid to come forward?!

============

Woman: [stays silent]
Assorted chucklefucks: Man it sure is great that people never ever act inappropriately during cons and we never have to address this issue!

Basically, we can’t win.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

@Catalpa

In spite of never seeing that comic, I love whoever did it.

Gipsz Jakab
Gipsz Jakab
6 years ago

I think it might have been xkcd, but don’t quote me on that.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
6 years ago

The request I made for “more dogs please” when David was asking for suggestions on how to make this blog better was 100% fulfilled with the image used with this article, but thanks to WWTH and Leda Atomica, it’s 100% x 8!

Today was a rough one, I needed these dog pics so very much. Thanks! 🙂

reiko
reiko
6 years ago

SXSW was already on its way to becoming broadly irrelevant, and this little bit of “on the matter of what can be discussed, we defer to the men threatening bombs and guns” seals the deal.

spacelawn
6 years ago

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY AN ATTACK AGAINST GAMERGATE (#ETHICS) PUT TOGETHER BY JEWKEISSAN AND HER FEMENAZIS!!!!!!!!!!1!1!!!!!!11

But really, the irony and lack of self-awareness here is just beyond belief.

Jarred H
6 years ago

@itsabeast:

I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of their statement–I think it was directed at harassers who can’t express their opinions civilly and ruin things for everyone.

That may be (and I doubt it) what they intended to mean by that statement. However, when you cancel a panel about the very subject of harassment and people who ruin things for everyone with threats, that taints said statement in very clear ways.

anon
anon
6 years ago

So I just got through a few different comment sections.

Wanna guess how many of them had Gators blame this on SJews?

Yea.

freemage
6 years ago

Another fucking win for the Heckler’s Veto.

I’ll be honest–I would have understood the basic decision. The con staff has to worry, not just about the safety of the panelists, but also the guests. Yes, it sucks, but I could comprehend a decision that you don’t want con-goers getting caught in literal crossfire. (These days, especially, someone who shoots up a panel is not likely to put their gun down and go quietly after shooting the panelists–they’d just keep going until the cops or security took them down, which means violence would likely spill into the corridor outside the panel room, at the least. And I don’t even want to think about a bomb.)

However, in order to do this ethically, it is incumbent upon the staff to make their announcement in way that puts the blame on the side using threats and violence in the most aggressive and condemnatory fashion possible. “Cowards” and “bullies” should be considered acceptable language. The bland, mealy-mouthed, white-washed corporate statement that they came out with is what really loses my sympathy.

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

Level Up, the panel about harassment, was selected by the official SXSW panel voting system. The SavePoint panel, the one with with GomerGroper connections, was somehow shoehorned in after voting was closed.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I’ve also heard this from a guy who fancies himself extra special aware. “Women should do something about how they’re treated, men aren’t just going to *give* them space.” Thanks for advice. May I return advice? Advice broken.

Yup. GomerGate was all about how women are “invading” men’s so-called spaces, “gaming” being one (never mind that we’ve been playing computer games too, for as long as they’ve existed, and that the original ones were all genderless in terms of both content and marketing). Of COURSE men aren’t going to “give” us space. And when we insist on being there anyway, they’re going to actively try to drive us out. And uncivil, disrespectful “discussion”, full of gendered slurs, is their first line of “defence”.

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

So all I know about sxsw is Burnie has been going to speak at it for the last few yeara. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t go because of this, (because he would see that as a disservice to fans and stuff) but I want to see what him and other panalist say about it.

This could be a dession that hurts them alot, I never even knew it was a music festival, just alot of tech panels.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

Thanks, deniseeliza! I bow to your superior Google-fu.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

Huh, my gravatar went wonky. Weird.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

So “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” translates to “If you’re the target of harassment you’re not welcome here”?

Basically. That, or “Our image as ‘inclusive’ is more important to us than your safety (and actual inclusion in places where the dominant crowd will fight tooth and nail to exclude you).”

SXSW should just change its initials to CYA. Or WDGAF.

anon
anon
6 years ago

Wait? The Goobergate panel lost and was only included so misogynists could have their safe space?

I thought that they hated safe spaces and “the peoples will” being circumvented for reasons of political correctness?

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

KiA was involved in the SavePoint panel planning… of course:

http://www.donotlink.com/h5o0

Alan Smithee
Alan Smithee
6 years ago

Translation: ‘Bouncers are expensive.’

Felix Ray
6 years ago

Since, once again, I seem to disagree with just about everyone, I worry that there may be something I don’t understand, but here goes.

The mealy-mouthed public statement notwithstanding, I support SXSW’s decision for the same reasons I supported Anita when she cancelled an appearance in Utah, and Briana when she left her home for a period in response to the threats. Both decisions were criticized by Gaters as overreacting, but I felt at the time that no one else has the right to judge someone else’s need to be safe, and that’s how I feel now.

I don’t think it’s that clear that this is a victory for the Gaters, since it makes them look like criminals and thugs, and since it tends to validate the reaction to situations mentioned above that they’ve sought to minimize, but the bottom line is that everybody has the right to do what they need to to do to be safe. Safety in the primary concern. It’s the festivals responsibility, and its their their call.

@freemage
>>However, in order to do this ethically, it is incumbent upon the staff to make their announcement in way that puts the blame on the side using threats and violence in the most aggressive and condemnatory fashion possible. “Cowards” and “bullies” should be considered acceptable language. The bland, mealy-mouthed, white-washed corporate statement that they came out with is what really loses my sympathy.

Yep.

TheLulzWatch
TheLulzWatch
6 years ago

I sense a great fail in the Force.

“I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the majority of the people who run SXSW are white dudes.”

Isn´t that prejudice?

Some sort of username
Some sort of username
6 years ago

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/27/this-is-not-a-game-how-sxsw-turned-gamergate-abuse-into-a-spectator-sport.html

Here’s some more info regarding this whole mess. It seems SXSW have handled this poorly from start to finish making this even more of a shit show. Hell, some of their actions can kinda be looked at as SXSW just flat out being pro-GG.

Jarred H
6 years ago

@Felix Ray:

I support SXSW’s decision for the same reasons I supported Anita when she cancelled an appearance in Utah, and Briana when she left her home for a period in response to the threats

I don’t think those situations are entirely comparable. If the panelists had backed out for their own safety, I’d agree with you. But as near as I can tell, the panelists were ready and willing to move forward. It was SXGW who cancelled their panel on them. That makes it a rather different scenario in my book.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@Felix and Jarred:

Also, it’s not just that SxSW cancelled the panel. It’s that they did so with wording that made it seem as if it was less about safety and more about the fact that the “two sides” couldn’t get along, so nobody would take part. Despite the fact that the two panels weren’t “two sides” and that if they were, one side was anti-harassment and the other would be pro-harassment.

If SxSW had just left it at safety concerns, things might be a little different. As it stands, it’s as if SxSW were treating the subject of harassment like a philosophical exercise between two children shouting “they hit me first!”

nightmarelyre
6 years ago

@Lisa C, then again they ask for *both* panels to be reinstated, so I am not sure how sincere they really are here. Seems more like a hollow PR trick to me

katz
katz
6 years ago

I don’t think it’s that clear that this is a victory for the Gaters, since it makes them look like criminals and thugs

But they intend to look like criminals and thugs.

Duck Apologist (@Prios)

But they intend to look like criminals and thugs.

yeah this is all standard Gater MO. Paint targets on their favorite hates, let their thugs pour in with abuse and threats, scream “THIS IS OBVIOUSLY SJW FALSE FLAG TO RUIN OUR REPUTATION,” snow everybody with “both sides” garbage.

And the “both sides” bullshit works. “How terrible,” whines SWSX, “that these women have brought their war with Gatergate to our nice convention. They should have known better than to endanger everybody like this with their very controversial and dangerous habits of Being Women Who Once Did Something Gatergate Didn’t Like and, even worse, Not Just Shutting Up And Going Away.”

Their pearl-clutching apologists have the same attitude. They’re the kind of people who totally think Gatergate must have a point, but it just has “too-enthusiastic” elements, and really it’s terrible you’re being targeted by threats but clearly you’ve been kind of asking for it and you should have been more careful, goodness we didn’t have death threats back in my day, what did you do to set all these people off, it must have been something terribly improper, good on the very adult and venerable and Serious SWSX to have made their very mature and considered statement on all this dreadfulness like they did, let me adjust my monocle.

Ace
Ace
6 years ago

I agree with Katz. GamerGoaters don’t care if they look like criminals or thugs. They spend most of their time trying to be criminals, by doxxing and harassing people. They got their victory; they shut down a panel they didn’t like and silenced people (mainly women) just like they always do.

The panelists were completely willing to deal with the harassing comments and all; they didn’t want to share a space with the people openly harassing them and that was what was going to happen. Instead of being granted the right to NOT deal with their harassers (and SXSW seems to have all the evidence they needed to deny the Gamer panel), they were instead shut down under the pretense of being uncivil and unrespectful.