London (CNN Business)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 (JPM), is taking similar steps.
“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.”
“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.
In the face of a cultural reckoning, it turns out massive corporations can move fast and fix thingsAt Twitter (TWTR), “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.