Facebook skipping SXSW amid coronavirus

Tech giant Facebook on Monday announced that it would not participate in this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival due to coronavirus-related concerns.

“Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year,” Facebook spokesman Tracy Clayton told the Austin American-Statesman of the company’s plans to skip the popular festival in Texas.

A number of Facebook employees were scheduled to appear on panels at the event. The company’s withdrawal from the festival comes after Facebook already canceled two of its own conferences due to concerns over the virus that has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide.

Fellow social media giant Twitter has also announced measures related to the spread of the virus, restricting all nonessential employees from travel. CEO Jack Dorsey was supposed to speak at SXSW, but no longer will attend the event.

Officials for SXSW, which is scheduled to run March 13-22, have said that the festival will still happen.