I think at this point it’s safe to say, even though SXSW 2016 is still several months in the future, that SXSW’s leadership has made some considerable errors.
It’s not a good day for PR when you’re a major conference/festival in the hipster tech world and you’ve got Buzzfeed and Vox both pulling out in protest of your recent actions, when you’ve got ex-NFL star Chris Kluwe’s excoriation of your cowardicegoing viral on Twitter, and when “dramatically announcing you’re not going to SXSW”is the new “rescinding Bill Cosby’s honorary degree”.
It’s easy to point fingers at outsiders over this and I’m sure people at SXSW are doing just that right now. You could blame the charming folks at the r/KotakuInAction and their less-presentable brethren at /baph/ on 8chan, who have a distressing tendency to try to cause as much trouble as possible “for the lulz” whether or not it hurts their ostensible cause. You could join the legions of other people who’ve blamed “Twitter outrage culture” for making you guys “look bad.”