Coronavirus Leads Twitter to Ban All Nonessential Travel and Events

CEO Jack Dorsey will no longer attend South by Southwest

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Twitter's policy will be in place until there's additional guidance from the WHO or CDC, or the availability of a vaccine. Sources: Getty Images, Twitter

Key insights:

The tech industry continued to feel the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, as Twitter announced Sunday that it was suspending all noncritical business travel and events, which included CEO Jack Dorsey’s scheduled return to South by Southwest for the first time since 2007.

Dorsey was slated to have a conversation with Axios business editor Dan Primack, who tweeted about the cancellation on Sunday.

The social network also confirmed that its physical presence at SXSW, including #TwitterHouse, was canceled.

Twitter chief human resources officer Jennifer Christie said in a blog post Sunday that the company began notifying employees and partners Saturday that all noncritical business travel and events were suspended “until the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures, or when a vaccine becomes available.”

“Our goal is to reduce the risk that anyone at Twitter might contract or inadvertently spread the virus,” she added. “It is important that we take these proactive steps to protect ourselves and others and minimize the spread of Covid-19.”

The cancellation is the latest to shake the tech world. Withdrawals by Facebook Gaming/Oculus and other companies including Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Electronic Arts led to the scrapping of the Game Developers Conference, which was supposed to occur March 16-20 in San Francisco.

Previously, Facebook canceled its annual F8 developer conference last week, which had been scheduled for May 5-6 in San Jose, Calif. Shopify also canceled its Shopify United developer conference, Shopify Unite, which had been scheduled for May 6-8 in Toronto.

February’s Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, which had been set to take place Feb. 24-27, was also canceled after more than a dozen attendees pulled out citing coronavirus fears. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: March 2, 2020 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT