Inclusive language

We want to encourage a culture of inclusivity, and part of doing that is making sure we use appropriate language where we can.

While some people may argue that these words aren't offensive to them, or that the words were never added with an offensive intention, they need to be aware that these words are potentially offensive to other groups of people, and we should endeavour to remove the usages.

This effort also helps fulfill our commitment to the Code of Conduct :

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming community, we are committed to making participation in Wikimedia technical projects a respectful and harassment-free experience for everyone [...]

Terms to avoid and their alternativesEdit

The following list is by no means complete. See the #References section below for other recommendations. We use different alternative words in different contexts, for better grammatical or technical accuracy.

Words to be avoided Suggested alternative words
blacklist deny, exclude, prohibit, forbid, mute, (But not "block" because of existing MediaWiki meanings)
whitelist allow, include, permit
master primary, source, main
slave replica, secondary
guys people, folks
madam, sir the person's self-chosen name (and identity)
sanity check final check, completeness check, quick check, confidence check, coherence check
crazy, insane confusing, confounding
blind, cripple, dumb alternatives that do not use ableist language

It is noted that there are some cases where we may not be able to change/remove some of our usages of these words, such as until the upstream developers has fixed them and it trickles down into our deployed software. This is okay as it is out of our control. However, we can and should address these words in our codebases when we are able to.

How to helpEdit

If you're looking to help with this effort, task T254646 is a good starting point for some discussion around the issue, and also to find specific tasks for areas of code that needs updating.

Some of these may be as simple as updating/improving comments and variable names.

Others may be more complex and need functions and hooks renaming, while following our stable interface policy.

Some usages may need to stay around for longer, but will generally stop being the canonical code, showing the intention for this to be removed in the near future.


Further readingEdit