The annual South by Southwest festival draws tech innovators from around the world to Austin, Texas, to showcase cutting edge products, network with potential investors and party with celebrities at exclusive events.
But this year, NBC News reported, more serious issues have dominated the conversation at a festival that in previous years made headlines for its quirkiness and innovation.
Technology platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, have been under fire for the roles they played in helping amplify the voices of bots and trolls.
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In particular Twitter — a platform that first took off at South by Southwest more than a decade ago — has been among the companies most widely criticized for allowing harassment to flourish on its platform.