Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok Among Major Companies Pulling Out Of SXSW Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok, arguably the biggest three social media companies, have all pulled out of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. Much like the Global Developers Conference (GDC) before it, the festival is struggling to keep attendees as the entire world is gripped by fear and paranoia surrounding the coronavirus. Twitter was one of the first companies to announce it would not be attending SXSW, according to Variety. Facebook didn’t wait long to parrot the decision.

“Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year.”

The social media giant had planned to send at least 12 of its higher-ups to the SXSW in order to appear on panels and give talks at the annual film, music, and technology festival. The festival takes place from March 13 to March 22 and the tech giants are simply not feeling as though the coronavirus pandemic will be tamped down in the next 10 days.

Twitter said it would not be sending anyone in order to comply with its global business travel ban in light of the disease sweeping across the globe. The GDC, which was set to host some of the biggest video game companies in the world saw similar withdrawals last week. That convention was slated to take place March 16 to March 20 but after a wave of presenters and companies canceled their appearances, GDC organizers announced they would postpone and hope to hold the event later in the summer.

On Tuesday, even more prominent tech companies followed the lead of Twitter and Facebook according to Mashable. Tik Tok, Intel, Vevo, and Mashable itself all announced they were canceling reservations at SXSW because of coronavirus concerns.

While the tech companies have been the most prominent pull-outs, they are far from the only cancellations. Even the SXSW Keynote speaker and author Tim Ferris announced on Twitter he wasn’t going either. He talked about the dangers he thought would be present from 100,000 people all milling about while the novel coronavirus threat still presented itself.

“After much thought, I’ve canceled my attendance at SXSW. I love SXSW, but I don’t believe the novel coronavirus can be contained, and I view an int’l event of 100K+ people as a huge risk to attendees and the entire city, given limited ICU beds, etc.”

Ferris went on to ask Austin Mayor Steve Adler to think about what the effect of that many people being exposed to the disease could do. The renowned author appealed to Adler to think about how many people getting sick would override any financial benefits from the festival. As of now, SXSW has not been canceled.

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