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JPMorgan to remove 'master' and 'slave' from code - Reuters

JPMorgan to remove 'master' and 'slave' from code - Reuters

JPMorgan Chase is removing terms like "slave," "master" and "blacklist" from its internal code and technology policies and standards, according to Reuters.

The terms are all commonly used in some programming languages and hardware: "Master" refers to code that controls "slaves," or replicas. "Blacklist" describes items that are automatically denied.

The terms are being reappraised in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, who was filmed being choked to death by a police officer in Minneapolis in March.

The death sparked a new wave of Black Lives Matters protests that have already prompted far-reaching consequences, including about language.

In addition to JPMorgan Chase, Twitter and GitHub are removing the offending words from code, while some realtors are ditching the term "master bedroom".

With a sprawling mix of disparate and often very old code, JPMorgan's decision could cost months of work and millions of dollars, programming professor Mattan Griffel told Reuters.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 July, 2020, 00:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Generally, I'm quite conservative, but I'm totally good with this.

Its just language. Let's fix it and move on.

Russell Bell
Russell Bell - Fastbase Ltd - Wellington 06 July, 2020, 01:391 like 1 like

Such censorship doesn't fix, it breaks.  Language needs metaphors.  Master/slave as used in software and technology is a metaphor.  Borrowing the concept from human affairs and appying it to a technical realm.  To use a concept in this way is not to endorse the practice of slavery amongst people, but merely to acknowledge it's existence.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 July, 2020, 16:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm sorry but I really don't get this! Using the terms "Master" and "Slave" to depict which process is in control in no way is condoning human slavery.  This is just political correctness for PR purposes.  It's counterproductive in terms of the real issue at stake.