Google's new 'respectful code' policy is very politically correct

Mail Online | 7/8/2019 | Stephanie Haney For
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Internal Google documents show the company is making an effort to clean up 'problematic' language in its computer codes, but is lacking in a specific approach to identify what constitutes troublesome terminology.

The set of two documents, one of which is referred to as the 'respectful code' policy, obtained by Daily Caller show the internet search giant has directed employees to remove references to 'blacklist,' 'whitelist' and 'master/slave,' among other things, from the programming that makes its products operate.

Policy - Applies - Code - Edits - Computer

The policy, first written in 2017 an updated in 2018, applies to new and existing code, requiring edits to be made to bring old computer language into compliance.

The 'FAQ' [frequently asked questions] portion of the policy suggested that 'slave' shows up in '>100k instances' throughout a specific set of code, and it should be done away with.

Slavery - Metaphor - Brutality - Slavery - Fact

'Invoking slavery as a metaphor is insensitive, given both the historical brutality of slavery and the fact that this type of human rights violation still happens today,' the document read.

While the message is clear, the route to execution is muddy, with 'no official procedure right now' to determine what is and what is not acceptable language.

FAQ - Section - Document - Baseline - Master

The FAQ section of the document reads: 'The baseline is that "master"/"slave" should definitely change (it is explicitly called out in the policy doc), but other terms in "ongoing cleanup" have enough people in agreement they should be changed that cleanup work is actively happening. The guidance from the policy doc is to use your judgement, and ask your project/organization’s D&I [diversity and inclusion] team.'

Two words that are specifically not banned, according to the FAQ document, are 'witchcraft' and 'wizardry.'

Google - Inclusivity - Mission - Culture - Values

'At Google, inclusivity is central to our mission and our culture, and our values include treating each other with dignity,' the policy rationale document read.

'As such, it’s important that everyone...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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