Twitter is pulling out of the annual SXSW conference and festivals for 2020 overconcerns, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed Monday.
A blogpost from Twitter on Sunday noted that the company is adjusting its policy around travel. “On February 29, we informed our people and started notifying partners that we are suspending all non-critical business travel and events,” the post said.
Twitter’s showing at SXSW would have included a scheduled keynote from CEO Jack Dorsey as well as a larger presence from the company. In past years, Twitter has hosted speakers and events at its “Twitter House” during SXSW.
SXSW, which started in 1987, is an yearly gathering in Austin, Texas covering a range of topics from tech to music and film. According to demographics reports from 2019, SXSW brought in more than 400,000 attendees from about 105 countries around the world.
For Twitter, SXSW is a notable event,in 2007.
As for the larger fate of SXSW, as of March 1, the event is slated to go on as usual. According to attendee safety resources page of the website, “SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event. As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, the 2020 event is proceeding with safety as a top priority.”
The coronavirus originated in the Hubei province of China in December 2019 and has claimed about about 3,000 live since then.
This is a developing story.
Originally published March 2.
Update, 8:13 a.m. PT: Adds additional background. 8:20 a.m. PT; Adds additional background on SXSW and coronavirus.