KEY POINTS

  • Twitter and Facebook cancels their participation in this year's SXSW
  • Twitter advises its employees to work from home
  • SXSW is going forward with the event

Facebook and Twitter have canceled their participation in the upcoming SXSW conference, which is scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas.

In a statement given to Business Insider, Facebook announced that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the company and its employees will not take part in SXSW 2020.

Meanwhile, Siobhan Murphy, Twitter spokesperson, told The Verge that the employee travel restriction includes this year’s SXSW event.

In Twitter’s latest coronavirus-related update, the company has advised all employees to work remotely if they can. “Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us - and the world around us,” Jennifer, Lead People Team at Twitter wrote in the official blog post.

She added that they are ensuring that internal meetings and other crucial tasks “are optimized for remote participation.” The post mentioned that working from home is compulsory for employees based in its Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea offices.

SXSW has released a statement regarding the coronavirus outbreak. “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, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers as our top priority," it read.

In a post, SXSW detailed its current preparedness plan and shared their on-site action agenda. It stated that the common area and activity spaces will have hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray and wipes.

Meanwhile, new coronavirus cases continue to go down in China as the number of deaths goes past 3,000 people. The coronavirus has not only negatively affected health but also increased fear in the stock market. Various tech companies like Samsung and Apple have taken the hit due to supply chain hindrances in China. Moreover, social media websites like Twitter and Facebook struggle to curb the spread of misinformation related to coronavirus.

South Korea has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus infections South Korea has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus infections Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je