Twitter, JPMorgan join Microsoft in phasing out ‘racial’ coding terms

JPMorgan seems to be first financial company to phase out the tech terms

Twitter and JPMorgan are phasing out “racial” terms from their programming code, including “master,” “slave,” “whitelist” and “blacklist,” according to recent reports.

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On Thursday, CNET reported that Twitter has been working on making those changes since January.

The initiative was launched by a programmer at the company who was angered by an email that included the phrase “automatic slave rekick.”

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The term means to restart a secondary process, according to CNET. However, the programmer, Regynald Augustin, said the word “rekick” being used alongside the term “slave” got him “madder than I even thought I’d be in the workplace,” he told CNET.

"This has to stop,” Augustin told the website. “This isn't cool. We have to change this now."

Twitter will be phasing out "racial" terms in its programming code, including "blacklist," "whitelist," "slave" and "master," the company said. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo)

On Thursday afternoon, Twitter’s Engineering account posted a series of tweets about its decision to change those terms.

“Inclusive language plays a critical role in fostering an environment where everyone belongs,” the company wrote. “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.

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Some of the replacements, according to the tweets, change “whitelist” to “allowlist” and “blacklist” to “denylist.” It also changes terms like “master” and “slave” to “leader” and “follower” or “primary” and “replica,” among other term replacements.

“There is no switch we can flip to make these changes everywhere, at once,” the company wrote. “We will continue to iterate on this work and want to put in place processes and systems that will allow us to apply these changes at scale.”

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On Thursday, Reuters reported JPMorgan was making similar switches to its “internal technology materials and code.”

According to the outlet, JPMorgan seems to be the first finance company to make those changes.

Other companies, including Microsoft’s developer platform GitHub, have also already started taking steps to phase out similar terms in their coding, Gizmodo previously reported.

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and protests of racial injustice across the country, other industries are also looking at the terminology they use, according to Reuters.

For example, some realtors aren’t using the term “master bedroom” and some record labels are no longer using the term “urban” as a music genre, Reuters reported.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TWTRTWITTER INC.37.44+0.16+0.43%
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.102.94-0.88-0.85%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.209.19+5.81+2.86%

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