Twitter will replace the terms “black list” and “white list” in program codes to combat racism

This happened after the appeal of a black programmer.

Twitter has announced a change in terms in the program code. In particular, the company will remove the wording “black list” and “white list”.

  • A “blacklist” will be called a “denylist”;
  • “White List” (“whitelist”) – “list of permissions” (“allowlist”);
  • “Master / subordinate” (“master” / “slave”) – “leader / follower”;
  • “Man-hours” will not be called “man hours”, but gender-neutral: “person hours”.

List of terms that the company will replace

Work on a change of terms began in January 2020. This was told by CNET black programmer Twitter Reginald Augustine. He drew attention to the wording “automatic slave rekick” (automatic restart of a slave process) in an email.

Augustine said that he was used to seeing the word slave (usually used in the meaning of “slave”) in a technical context, but the wording “slave rekick” made him think about a racist context. Against the backdrop of the BlackLivesMatter protests that began after the death of George Floyd in late May, work accelerated.

Twitter added that it cannot replace all terms at once, but will work on their integration.

It’s not just about software terms and code. Words are important for our meetings, conversations, documents that we write. We know that a lot of work remains to be done, but we strive to do our part.

from Twitter statement

  • Twitter is not the only company that is going to change the terms used. It is also goingto be done, for example, by JPMorgan Chase;
  • The topic of racism began to be actively discussed again amid protests after the death of George Floyd in the USA in late May;
  • Demonstrations were held in various cities of the United States and outside the country. The public outcry led to calls to change companies’ policies regarding racism. In particular, many brands called onFacebook to strengthen the moderation of racist and xenophobic publications.


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