Facebook drops out of SXSW due to coronavirus concerns
AUSTIN, Texas - Facebook has announced they will no longer be participating in SXSW this year.
"Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year," said Tracy Clayton, Facebook company spokesperson, in a brief statement to FOX7Austin.
RELATED: Austin Public Health ‘closely monitoring’ coronavirus amid petition to cancel SXSW
Facebook is the second company in the last two days to drop out of the annual conference due to the coronavirus. Twitter released a statement on its blog Sunday that it was "suspending all non-critical business travel and events," meaning CEO Jack Dorsey, who was originally scheduled as a keynote speaker, will not be coming to Austin.
A petition to cancel SXSW has been started on Change.org and as of Monday night, had over 27,000 signatures. The person who started says she's concerned about the hundreds of thousands of people who will be traveling to Austin for the conference and festivals.
SXSW posted on their website that they are working with local, state, and federal agencies and will be proceeding with this year's event as planned.
RELATED: Concerns about coronavirus grow as SXSW approaches
"SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event," the website says. "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."
SXSW says they will be taking several actions on-site, including the provision of disinfectant wipes and spray, hand sanitizer for common area spaces and activity spaces, microphone wipe downs, inclusion of Austin Public Health Disease Prevention literature, and outreach to all meeting spaces, venues, and hotels.