TWITTER has announced it is banning words like “blacklist” from its coding language in favor of terms that are more “inclusive” as the Black Lives Matter and racial equality movement grows.
The social media platform’s Twitter Engineering handle shared the decision on Thursday by tweeting that language it was using in its code “does not reflect our values as a company or represent the people we serve.”
Twitter Engineering tweeted that they are changing that and starting by avoiding “non-inclusive language” and preferring “inclusive versions.”
The account shared nine terms and their new versions.
They include changing “blacklist” to “denylist,” “whitelist” to “allowist,” “master/slave” to “leader/follower,” “dummy value” to “placeholder value,” and “sanity check” to “quick check.”
In addition, Twitter is converting “grandfathered” to “legacy status,” “man hours” to “person hours,” gendered pronouns like “guys” to “folks” or “people,” and gendered pronouns like “he/him/his” to “they, them, their.”
The effort to modify Twitter’s coding language actually began before a Minneapolis police officer in late May knelt on George Floyd, leading to his death and reigniting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Augustin and a fellow engineer, Kevin Oliver, led the effort to replace terms like “blacklist” and Twitter managers made their effort official in January.
However, the Black Lives Matter movement injected new vigor into the initiative at Twitter.
Twitter Engineering’s profile description now states simply, “#BlackLivesMatter.”
On Thursday, Augustin shared the list of new “inclusive versions” and commented, “it’s good but not exhaustive, and intentionally so.”
Augustin added that their goal was to “apply this language to all of eng, and eventually adopt inclusive language across Twitter.”
“I know this is a small step, but it’s one that keeps us on the path to improving the industry,” Augustin tweeted.
Michael Montano, who leads Twitter’s engineering team, thanked Augustin and Oliver for laying the framework for the change.
“We are committed to adopting inclusive language in our code, configuration, documentation and beyond thanks to the principles & framework,” Montano tweeted on Thursday.
Twitter spokeswoman Lindsay McCallum confirmed to The Sun on Monday that the term changes are part of Twitter’s work to adopt inclusive language across its internal engineering organization and coding.
The social media platform has previously stated that it does not allow hateful behavior and violent extremist or terrorist groups.