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SXSW confirms original harassment in gaming panelists for Online Harassment Summit

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GamerGate panel moved out of Summit, back into SXSW Gaming

SXSW has announced updates and changes to its Online Harassment Summit, a one-day event planned as part of 2016's week-long festival.

Members of the canceled gaming-focused panel "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games" have been confirmed as participants in the forum on cyber abuse scheduled to take place March 12. These include Randi Lee Harper, Katherine Cross and Caroline Sinders, who were invited to take part when the summit was announced but initially declined to do so, due to the inclusion of the other panel, "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community," hosted by the Open Gaming Society.

The three members of "Level Up" are now officially part of the summit line-up and a session based on their original discussion will go forward.

No longer part of the summit, however, is a session based on "SavePoint." That panel, which includes panelists openly aligned with the GamerGate movement, will instead return to the larger SXSW Gaming festival.

Instead of being included in the summit on Online Harassment, the panel — which did not claim to focus on harassment in its initial description, but instead was a planned discussion of "the importance of journalistic integrity in video game's media [sic]" — will instead occur separately on March 15.

According to the Open Gaming Society's founder Perry Jones, the group is "extremely happy with the outcome."

Both "Level Up" and "SavePoint" were scuttled from SXSW 2016's original event plans following threats of violence directed toward its members and the festival organizers due to their presence on the schedule.

Following the motion to cancel, SXSW received flak from such organizations as BuzzFeed and Polygon's parent company, Vox Media. The creation of the special conference on cyber violence was the festival organizers' way of addressing concerns of other panelists and critics.

BuzzFeed has since returned to participate in next March's events. We've reached out to Vox Media for a statement regarding its potential return.

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