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George Floyd: Twitter drops terms like ‘master’, ‘slave’ and ‘blacklist’

Twitter is dropping the terms “master”, “slave” and “blacklist” in favour of more inclusive language.

The terms are frequently used in programming codes which originated decades ago.

US bank JPMorgan has also announced a similar move as more companies address racism following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.


Replacing the terms could cost millions and take months, according to experts.

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In programming speak, “master” refers to the main version of code that controls the “slaves,” or replicas. “Blacklist” is used to describe items that are automatically denied, typically forbidden websites.

On Thursday, Twitter’s engineering division tweeted out a set of words that it wants “to move away from using in favour of more inclusive language”. The list includes replacing “whitelist” with “allowlist” and “master/slave” with “leader/follower”.