Facebook Cancels F8 Conference Over Coronavirus Concerns

The two-day event was scheduled for early May in San Jose, California

Last Updated: February 27, 2020 @ 10:51 AM

Facebook has cancelled its annual F8 developer conference over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, the company shared on Thursday.

The conference, which was scheduled to take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on May 5 and 6, is Facebook’s biggest event each year.

“This was a tough call to make — F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world — but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, said in a statement.  “We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.”

Last year’s event attracted about 5,000 people. In place of this year’s conference, Facebook said it would look to connect developers through “a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content”; the company did not share additional details on when those local events would take place.

Facebook’s decision comes a day after the first confirmed coronavirus case in the U.S. of “unknown origin” was diagnosed in Northern California. The CDC, in a press release, said “it’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.”

Worldwide, there are more than 82,000 confirmed cases, according to CNN; approximately 3,000 people have died as a result of coronavirus.

Facebook isn’t the only tech giant that’s been rocked by the virus, either, with Apple recently warning coronavirus has “temporarily constrained” its iPhone production in China; Apple amended its revenue projections as a result.

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