SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / CNN) — The language of computing is changing in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Twitter is dropping the terms “master,” “slave” and “blacklist” from its code after two engineers lobbied for the use of more inclusive programming language. America’s biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, is taking similar steps.READ MORE: Fast-Moving Fawn Fire Near Shasta Lake Grows To 1,200 Acres; Evacuation Orders Expanded
“Words matter,” Michael Montano, the head of Twitter’s engineering team, said in a tweet on Thursday. “We are committed to adopting inclusive language in our code, configuration, documentation and beyond.”
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 thanks to the principles & framework @negroprogrammer @kevino put together. https://t.co/oiJmmlRoKd
— Michael Montano (@michaelmontano) July 2, 2020
“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 forbidden IP addresses.
At Twitter, “master” and “slave” will become “leader” and “follower” or “primary” and “replica,” while “blacklist” will become “denylist.”
Debate over the language used by engineering teams has been amplified in recent weeks by the Black Lives Matter movement, which is forcing companies to reckon with discrimination and the treatment of Black employees following Floyd’s death.READ MORE: Newsom Signs Bill Targeting Productivity Quotas At Warehouses Run By Amazon, Major Retailers
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 effort at Twitter was spearheaded by engineers Regynald Augustin and Kevin Oliver.
Augustin, who is Black, tweeted that he was inspired to push for changes after an email went to the engineering team with the line “automatic slave rekick.”
Twitter eng recently shared that we would be making the language in our code, docs, and configs more inclusive. I want to speak on how we got here and what we’ve done so far.https://t.co/87RybaAiYA
— Regynald (@negroprogrammer) July 2, 2020
“Seeing it was infuriating,” 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 start to be swapped out — which Twitter said is not exhaustive — also includes “grandfathered,” which will become “legacy status,” and “dummy value,” which will become “placeholder value” or “sample value.”MORE NEWS: 2 Crashes on I-880 in San Leandro, Oakland Clog East Bay Freeways
© Copyright 2020 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.