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Re: blacklist -> blocklist in current

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 13:09 bch <> wrote:

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 12:18 Greg A. Woods <> wrote:
At Mon, 15 Jun 2020 20:35:46 +0200, Kamil Rytarowski <> wrote:
Subject: Re: blacklist -> blocklist in current
> Whitelist/blacklist is a regular term in computing. I have never seen
> 'blocklisting' before.

Popularity != fairness; and so on....

This article from 2018 might help point out the inherent issues with the
choice of certain terms:

From the cited article:

> does not merely reflect a racist culture, but also serves to legitimize and perpetuate it.

I looked up the origins and usages of “blacklist” the other day and see references to Kings listing their enemies on a “black list”[0][1], etc, but no indication of racism (nb: “black ball” or “blackball” (surprisingly to me, predate blacklist) do also seem to contraindicate racist undertones, but interestingly bring us the word “ostracize”, descended from the Greek pottery device used to cast votes - but I digress[2]).

I’m 100% for eliminating master/slave (for leader/follower), as an example of politically charged verbiage, but I’m not convinced “blacklist” falls into the same category at all. I think the intent is in the right place, but just misapplied.

I hasten to add: it’s not even clear to me racism was at all a motivating factor - given that, I speak out of turn regarding intention and proper application. Apologies to @christos for that.

On the other hand there are deliberate biases in choice of certain terms
since they are indeed intended to indicate positive and negative
opposites, however the more "neutral" one can be in choosing such terms,
then the longer those terms might hope to hold out as inoffensive to as
many people as possible.

Personally I prefer "allow"/"deny", but I'm not sure what lists of
things that are "allowed" or "denied" should more generically be called.
We do have one example of such lists already supported in NetBSD:
/etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny

                                        Greg A. Woods <>

Kelowna, BC     +1 250 762-7675           RoboHack <>
Planix, Inc. <>     Avoncote Farms <>

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