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Twitter Gets Rid of “Master”, “Slave” and “Blacklist” Programming Jargons in Fight against Racism

Twitter has announced plans to incorporate a more inclusive language in the organisation by doing away with some popular programming words, which seem offensive to the black community.

The “offensive” terms include;  “master”, “slave” “whitelist” and “blacklist” , which are used in coding.

According to Twitter, which has been very vocal in the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, inclusive language plays a critical role in fostering an environment where everyone belongs.

“At Twitter,  the language we have been using in our code does not reflect our values as a company or represent the people we serve. We want to change that. #WordsMatter ” Twiter said in a tweet posted on it’s engineering handle.

In programming speak, “master” refers to a device or process – such as a hard drive or a database – that controls other devices or processes, which are known as “slaves,” or replicas. “Blacklist” is used to describe items that are automatically denied, typically forbidden websites.

Twitter also shared a listof alternative names the organisation intends to replace the offensive words with. These include allowlist instead of whitelist and denylist instead of blacklist.

“Words matter. We want @TwitterEng to reflect our values & support our journey to become more inclusive. We are committed to adopting inclusive language in our code, configuration, documentation and beyond ” said
Michael Montano, lead Twitter’s Engineering team.
The #BlackLivesMatter campaign was sparked by the murder of George Flyod.

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