Shaken deeply by the intense civil rights movements taking place around the world, accompanied by hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which has gained wider momentum in recent days and beyond American shores, the tech industry has decided to uproot certain coding and programming terms in what is regarded as the symbolic decision which happens to be digitally radical.
Now, a coder and any IT professional wouldn’t see certain terms such as “Blacklist”, “Whitelist”, “Black Hat SEO”, “White Hat SEO”, “Master” and “Slave” and tech giants, such as Apple, Google and Microsoft Inc. have shown a strong will and divergence in attitudes.
The credit goes to Github, which is Microsoft Branch taking care of hosting services when any software is developed, it has introduced a program to remove a handful of coding terms “Master” and “Slave”, where Master refers to actual instance of software project and other functionality flows down therein.
Such a thoughtful bid to express solidarity with civil rights movement and towards those protesting for it, was initially launched by Una Kravets, who holds the seat of Director at Bustle Digital Group’s product design section, when she took to twitter admiring tech elites contemplating measures to change a handful of aforementioned terms.
Github CEO Nat Friedman posted a tweet,” It’s a great idea and we are already working on it”.
Further, Github also acknowledged in an email that terms earlier used as default branching would be changed for new repositories created by users and users will have flexibility in keeping their own branch names for such repositories. Besides, a bunch of software tools are being developed to enable users to give new names to default codes of branch in repositories which are taken into use now.
On their official Twitter page, Github posted its full support to ongoing struggle against racism and favoured black community at length. Such a Twitter support by the company gathered a lot of comments and criticism where most of the users emphasized that the company should snap all professional ties with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Clearly, several hard decisions have been initiated by ICE, in dealing with immigrant families at US – Mexico border, which has resulted separated families and such an inhuman step has found immense criticism from tech fraternity on US soil. To this effect, nearly 2 years ago, nearly 100 coders at Github threatened to quit unless Microsoft severed ties with ICE.
Loss of innocent black lives in US like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor etc, has resulted in scores of civil rights protests on global scale which pursue on civil lines and technology companies feel their responsibility and due bit to be done in their unique technical way.
Henceforth, terms will undergo revision and White Hat will now be known as “Ethical” and Black Hat will be re-termed as “Unethical” among other things. So friends, let’s keep our fingers crossed to such a narrative added civil rights movement and social justice quotient, as we ought to realise that Black Lives Matter and that Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.
Finally, to bring out a change, you can contribute by making donations or sign a petition or simply protest in peaceful way simply to get your voice heard. Just visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co