Twitter is removing the terms “master”, “slave” and “blacklist” from its code after two engineers pushed for the use of a more inclusive programming language. The largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), you are taking similar steps.
“Words matter,” said Michael Montano, head of Twitter’s engineering team, in a tweet Thursday. “We are committed to adopting inclusive language in our code, configuration, documentation, and more.”
“Master” and “slave” refer to one process in the code that controls another, while “blacklist” describes a list of items that are automatically blocked, such as prohibited IP addresses.
TO Twitter (TWTR), “master” and “slave” will become “leader” and “follower” or “primary” and “reply”, while “blacklist” will become “denial list”.
The debate over the language used by engineering teams has been widened in recent weeks by the Black Lives Matter movement, which is forcing companies to consider discrimination and treatment of black employees after Floyd’s death.
JPMorgan Chase will also remove “master”, “slave” and “blacklist” from its internal materials and code. The news was first reported by Reuters and the BBC.
The Twitter effort was spearheaded by engineers Regynald Augustin and Kevin Oliver.
Augustin, who is black, tweeted that he was inspired to push for the changes after an email was sent to the engineering team with the line “automatic slave rekick”.
“Seeing him was maddening,” he said. “I’ve been used to seeing the word ‘slave’ throughout my [computer science] education, but this was different. “
The list of words that will begin to be exchanged, which Twitter said is not exhaustive, also includes “protected”, which will become “inherited state” and “dummy value”, which will become “placeholder value” or ” sample value. “