As you’ve probably read elsewhere, SXSW Interactive, in their infinite wisdom, opted to pull the plug on a pair of scheduled panels — one of ’em titled, “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment In Games” — citing safety concerns after receiving threats. If you think this sounds an awful lot like kowtowing to (mountain dew guzzling, fedora-wearing) terrorists, you’re not alone. The shy, retiring Chris Kluwe has joined the fray via The Cauldron :
First off, the panel was not on Gamergate, did not mention Gamergate, and the only tangential relation it had with Gamergate was that the odorous denizens of that particular hashtag have made it their mission to try and ruin the lives of the women involved in the panel (among others). The fact you felt the need to connect it to Gamergate shows quite clearly where the pressure to silence these voices came from.
Second, and perhaps more pertinently, you run a festival that features A-list celebrities and tech magnates worth collective billions, superstar athletes, and some of the biggest music acts in the world, and you’re telling me you can’t provide security for a panel of three women? That it’s beyond your resources to hire any sort of police presence when you shut down entire sections of Austin at a time? That the unceasing vitriol these brave individuals face on a daily basis is just too much for your tender feelings to deal with, when you’ve experienced the merest fraction of that torrent of filth they’re forced to endure?
You disgust me. Your selfish weakness sickens me. Your puling bleats of golden mean fallacies fills my stomach with such nauseous rage that an entire continent of antacid tablets would be insufficient to quell the depths of my contempt for you.
What you did, what you’re doing, is providing the blueprint for harassers and hatemongers as to how they win. From this point forward, any fringe group of spiteful lunatics can point to this moment and say, “We will silence the voices of anyone we dislike at SXSW, any view we disagree with, because we know the mewling slugs in charge have not the backbone to stop us. All we need to do is confront them with our vileness, and they will fold.”