Technology

Facebook cancels F8 developers conference over coronavirus concerns

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Facebook says it will cancel its annual F8 developers conference this year, citing concerns with the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

According to an update on the social network’s Facebook for Developers website, the company said they will use a combination of locally-hosted events, videos and live-streamed content to bring developers together.

“Celebrating our global developer community at F8 each year is incredibly important to us at Facebook, but we won’t sacrifice the health and safety of our community to do so,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs, in a statement obtained by USA TODAY.

The F8 conference is typically held in San Jose, where developers congregate to learn about the next wave of features arriving on the platform.

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Facebook is the latest company taking precautions to protect its workers as the coronavirus outbreak spreads beyond China. Microsoft revealed Thursday it was skipping March’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco “out of an abundance of caution.”

Meanwhile, organizers of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona announced earlier this month it was cancelling this year’s show.

As of Thursday afternoon, there are more than 82,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 2,808 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a COVID-19 case in California that was the first of “unknown origin.”

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