The language police have come for coding. On Wednesday, Twitter Engineering published a list of words they’ve determined “exclude” some identity politics groups. The company, spurred on by recent Black Lives Matter protests pushing far-left politics on corporations, vows to render all their language politically correct before 2022.
We’re starting with a set of words we want to move away from using in favor of more inclusive language, such as: pic.twitter.com/6SMGd9celn
— Twitter Engineering (@TwitterEng) July 2, 2020
While the announcement was released Tuesday, the movement to alter coding language on Twitter began last year. Twitter programmer named Regynald Augustin was offended by the tech term “master/slave,” a type of asymetric communication in a computer program where one process controls the operations of another. He and another programmer spearheaded a push to change the coding language to more politically correct alternatives.
Once the Black Lives Matter protests and riots forced companies to examine their language for fear of boycott or property destruction, Twitter got to work, rooting out potentially triggering language in their programming and inter-office discussions. Commonplace and technical terms including “blacklist,” “grandfathered,” and “dummy variable” are on the chopping block for respectively being now considered racist, gendered, and ableist.
However, the censorship does not stop at coding language; Twitter will also alter the language used in official documents, meetings, and even conversations. With interpersonal conversations thus limited, Twitter’s alleged “commitment to freedom of expression and privacy” promised to users does not extend to their employees.