Change blacklist and whitelist terminology

I'm referring to your derailing a discussion on lists with

I'm sorry you're unhappy with their responses, take that up with reddit. You're derailing this thread with complaints of responses by redditors.

Pi-hole · GitHub is where you can learn about the code.

I gave you two clear warnings, I don't give thirds. You can read the community for a bit, but your posting priv's are going to be suspended since you have nothing to add about the reasons for this feature request and instead are using your posts as a place to vent on a social platform not under our control.

As a non-White person, count me for voting against this change. This "movement" to change these words, including ones like "master" and "slave" is nothing but virtue signalling by (mainly White) people who don't genuinely care but want to feel good about themselves; People who didn't bring this up until it became mainstream and trendy rather than years ago.

I've yet to talk to one Black person face-to-face who cares about these word changes. Go to any impoverished neighborhood and ask around to see who cares. They will want an education, job, food, and respect, not a change in code that doesn't affect them.


Slight counterpoint: just because it's not a priority doesn't mean it's not something that should be done...

Your argument is a bit of a straw man. Sure, people that don't use a piece of software aren't going to care about what words are/aren't used in that software. As a member of an institution that is working hard to remove these terms from our documentation, it's surprising to me to see them when I login to my pi-hole. Do they offend me? Not necessarily. Just think it's something that should be discussed, and be put on the list for changes to happen.


Hi -

this is becoming more and more a topic in professional enterprise software, too, so I would surely vote for that change:

EDIT: Link to unknown blog removed.


Adding some reference from other tech companies:

One interesting option I saw is from uBlock Origin, it uses "Trusted sites", so other alternatives could be "Trusted domains" or "trust list".

SpamAssassin uses welcomelist and unwelcomelist. I laughed for the creativity. whitelist_auth to welcomelist_auth, · apache/spamassassin@b75dfe3 · GitHub

Anyway, just my two cents.

Since it seems that, even 3 years later, this thread is still active, I guess I will add my own opinion too...

I am against changing the terms Whitelist and Blacklist, for most reasons that were previously written in that thread. I am going to elaborate more on them:

  • In my opinion, the whole "whitelist/blacklist" debate is pathetic. Saying that Blacklist and Whitelist are racist terms because "black" is associated with "bad" is one of the biggest stretches that we have seen in the technical world.
    There is a ton of terms and expressions associated with colors, that make more or less sense ("blacklist" here refers to the unknown or concealed things – as questionable/illegal things are often done in the dark – while "whitelist" is about the things that are under light and therefore well-known) but that were not created with the slightest racist intent.
    As @rhyxalia mentions it above, most Black people actually do not feel offended by that term at all, and did not even connect the dots before that debate came up. And if "blacklist" is supposed to be racist, then a lot of other expressions and terms should be regarded as racist too: we could, for example, think about the concept of "red (traffic) light", which might be seen as derogatory, because of the old association of "red" with Native Americans, and the fact that "red" is associated with "not allowed (to pass)" here...

  • In the context of Pi-Hole, the terms Whitelist and Blacklist themselves make a lot of sense: they connect with the concept of "black holes" and "white holes" that match the space theme of Pi-Hole.

  • Saying things like "but Google/Microsoft/Apple/the NCSC/etc. are doing it" is an appeal to authority. Regardless the issue discussed, large tech companies are willing to do and say literally anything as long as it allows them to do virtue signalling and make a positive communication (while often actually doing barely anything in the background to solve the root problem, but that's a whole another topic).

  • I would also want to remind people here that despite the English language primarly "belongs" to English-speaking countries, it is also de facto an international language, and that means that this debate, which is originally a purely American thing, is bouncing to the rest of the world. And American issues definitely do not need to be exported to the rest of the world.

Given that this topic has been going for quite a long time now and opinions have been explored, I would suggest to the admins to lock this thread, since this is clear that this will lead to nowhere except building more frustration from both sides of this debate.


I agree with the former post and will close this for the mentioned reasons.

No question, this is a diverse topic. Whether we agree or not, whether we want to follow other big-tech or not - we have well received that there is concern about the terminology with many users. As we have mentioned previously, the currently still under development v6.0 branch of Pi-hole has changed the terminology to "block" and "allow" already years ago. This would have had been released a long time ago when Covid-19 wouldn't have hit the Pi-hole team in its own way, considerably delaying its development. Nonetheless, we are about to start the public beta sometime these days.

You see, it is not that we are not doing anything. Everything that was asked for is long there. It is just some breaking change we couldn't do overnight with a small update but instead integrated this from the very first day in our completely redesigned API.