The language of computing is filled with metaphors that cause harm by reinforcing cultural biases, whether or not that association is intentional. The Digital Preservation program works to remove that language by referring directly to the role, purpose, or use of something, rather than a metaphor.

The following is a list of biased language and suggested alternate terms. This list is incomplete. Additional harmful language should be documented when it is identified. The listed preferred terms are not the only possible alternates. Other alternate terms may be used.

Harmful Preferred
male/female (cabling) plug/port, plug/socket
master/slave (database, device, etc) primary/backup, primary/secondary
master branch main branch
preservation/edit/etc master file preservation/edit/etc file
whitelist/blacklist allow/exclude, allow/restrict

Where harmful language is present, the program will deprecate its usage by updating communications, documentation, code, and specifications. For terms deeply embedded within workflows and communities of practice, this may take time.