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back to article Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

A small army of politically correct nerds will gather in London this weekend to launch a mission to "clean up" source code hosted by GitHub. A group calling itself Ethical Code claimed the platform has become a hub for, er, gits who insist on peppering their work with nasty words that have the potential to shock and offend. At …

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FFS, Reg...

Thank you ... I'd forgotten why I'd basically stopped reading El Reg. Idly drifted back and ... was forcibly reminded.

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Flame

Re: FFS, Reg...

What's that, ***? Not into the PC wars of 2014? **** ***, *****!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS, Reg...

Let's all have some fun posting innocuous content with potentially offensive words to GitHub to keep the censors occupied....

4Chan should be told!

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Anonymous Coward

"because we are an enlightened group of super-smart people who see through people’s exterior characteristics and judge them solely on the quality of their mind. Then sling the word “faggot” and “bitch” on the end because it’s hilaaaarious"

Well he does seem to know many in the tech community better than they do. Me? I'm sick of casual homophobia and sexism from people who consider themselves super smart and liberal, yet somehow seem to the right of Ghengis Kahn.

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1) It's "Ghengis Khan"

2) How you can be "to the right of" the same is beyond me, as the seating order of the french parliament was still not decided at that time.

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Anonymous Coward

Do I like seeing those sorts of words in code? Not particularly. Do I dislike seeing those sorts of words in code? Not particularly. I know I definitely cannot speak for everyone or even for all gay people, but I'm not particularly affected by those words in any way.

Sure, words such as those may offend some people and would probably be more socially polite to be excluded from usage, but in most Western societies, you (supposedly) have the freedom of speech, NOT the freedom of not being offended. That said, GitHub is a privately operated entity who tries not to meddle, so freedoms are rather moot anyway.

It's my opinion that society as a whole really needs to learn to be more accepting of others (even those who are hateful or who may share a different outlook) rather than spreading more hate, for example by trying to shame the ones who are believed to be wronging others. No matter what form it takes, hate is hate, be it calling a homosexual person a "faggot" or persecuting the person who thinks such terminology is acceptable. If we want to change the world for the better, we should lead by example, not by persecution.

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The bigger question is, why are such comments in the code at all?

Are we talking about a "gaydar" app, to allow people to steer away from what they consider an unwanted element?

If not, then such wording has no place in the comments. The comments should be there to describe how the code works, not to set a personal agenda! If it isn't describing the function / method and its parameters / properties, then it is superflous and has no place in code.

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"If we want to change the world for the better, we should lead by example, not by persecution."

Wrong, unless you stand up and tell some people are wrong, then they will carry on, regardless if you are leading by example. If someone had the balls to stand up to Hitler and (more importantly) his cronies early on, WW2 may not of happened. However people were so desperate for reform, they turned a blind eye to his nasty side (yes even Hitler had a good side) and willingly went along with his policies.

So no, sometimes you have to "slap" people down, the trick is to know when that "slapping" has to stop, before you become the aggressor.

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Happy

Surely-

1) It's "Ghengis Khaaaaaaaaan!!!!!!"

We are talking PC nerds (and MAC nerds and *NIX nerds) after all...

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Megaphone

This

I don't want these comments removed - they seem like handy signposts to the fact that the person's code is probably crap if they feel that comments are for complete irrelevancies.

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Re: This

I remember getting banned from a forum once for saying I was having faggots for dinner. Faggots being the following

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_(food)

Completely unrelated topic I know, but still. Also, from reading the brief description of ovo lacto vegetarian. Isn't that just like... regular vegetarian? I mean if you remove eggs and milk that's the general shift from vegetarian to vegan right? Or am I missing something here.

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I shall take this opportunity to tell @Lost all faith that they are wrong.

Its "may not have happened" not "may not of happened".

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Re: This

"Also, from reading the brief description of ovo lacto vegetarian. Isn't that just like... regular vegetarian?"

Yes, Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian is just the full description of what most people would understand as a regular vegetarian.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This

regular vegetarian.

If I ate nothing bug eggs, milk, and veggies, I'm not sure I'd be regular...

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Re: This

Then you should lay off the bug eggs mate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nobody here capable of spelling?

Genghis Khan. Freely available spelling all across the interwebs. Please do look

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persecution

Those that do not learn by past mistakes are doomed to repeat them?

I have been in the software dev business for a few decades and seen major changes. One quite significant change was effected by women who had been sexually assaulted at tech 'cons and found the organisers ignored attacks and blacklisted the victims! The same attitude was taken regarding online abuse in technical mailing lists and forums.

Putting it bluntly, it took concerted effort and shaming of various communities before action to stop abuse was taken. Today, abuse is generally no longer considered acceptable or cool. Some communities and IT sectors still have issues such as a few UK network operators and some brogrammer companies and groups.

As a woman with a trans childhood, I have seen a lot of abuse - in business both large and small and in some that have policies excluding such abuse - and not all is in the past!

The sad truth is that in the current job climate and recent changes in employment law, many businesses feel they can discriminate with impunity and do so.

Putting our foot down, naming and shaming businesses and groups has been proven to be effective at instigating change - ignoring abuse never works.

Some people just need educating - others are just plain outright malicious. I think the objective here is to educate but I suspect there will be a minority that are plain malicious.

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Angel

Re: This

> I remember getting banned from a forum once for saying I was having faggots for dinner.

Doesn't matter how many different definitions or cultural/colloquial terms there might be for any particular word - once someone is offended by seeing a word you wrote, there is only one definition: the one they found offensive. Once you've bashed your way into someone else's conversation, even if you later realise the context they were talking in wasn't offensive at all, when was the last time you saw someone have the guts to say "sorry, I misunderstood, apologies for interrupting" and get on with their life?

I remember drawing the ire of a north american lady when I greeted a (male) friend as "you fat twat" in the typically vitriolic camaraderie we're used to, because it's apparently a word that means I hate women and can't possibly have any other connotations.

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Not all of it is in code. The use of the word "faggot" for example is most common in an IRC archive copied to github.

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Make a disparaging remark on el' Reg regarding the usage of endeared terms such as freetard and commentard, then just sit back and bask in the rapid accumulation of downvotes.

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> The comments should be there to describe how the code works, not to set a personal agenda! If it isn't describing the function / method and its parameters / properties, then it is superflous and has no place in code.

If I had lost a penny for each time I type stuff like "why doesn't this fucking thing work anyway" or "why do we even need that shit?" in comments -purely to vent out- I'd be considerably poorer. Now culturally "faggot" is not in my vocabulary, but I'm pretty sure I left a couple "bitch" here and there, even if I try to clean up my comments when making my code public. Some just slip through.

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Headmaster

I shall take the opportunity...

... to tell localzuk that it's only its when it's a possessive.

So it's It's "may not have happened..."

I think that's it.

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Re: This

>>Completely unrelated topic I know, but still. Also, from reading the brief description of ovo lacto vegetarian. Isn't that just like... regular vegetarian? I mean if you remove eggs and milk that's the general shift from vegetarian to vegan right? Or am I missing something here.

It's just specific hypocrisy, he says "I avoid the whole question of the morality of meat-eating much as, say, a celibate person doesn't have to worry about the ethics of polygamous relationships" yea, because battery chickens and continued impregnation of cows and having their calves taken and eaten has no moral aspect, don't get me wrong, I'm a omnivore, at least I don't pretend there's no moral issues.

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Thumb Up

Re: This

"If I ate nothing bug eggs, milk, and veggies, I'm not sure I'd be regular.."

As a neighbour who kept chickens used to say, "Eggs for dinner again, I'll be bound!"

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@Destroy All Monsters: actually, the conventional spelling is "Genghis Khan".

It's presumably a transcription to the Latin alphabet of a Chinese transcription of a pair of Mongol words, so you could probably spell it any way you like. The "gh" construct suggests that the transcription was done in a language like Italian, where "gh" and "ch" are required for a hard consonant before "e" or "i".

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@ElReg!comments!Pierre outed

I up-voted you. But then you would be poorer as I would fire you for putting such comments in a public code base: public in the sense that any other person / developer uses the code base. Even if it is the case that those comments you present as examples are the effect of code you have written yourself.

If you have the urge to 'vent out' then summon up some professional pride and integrity and do it in private.

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@Lost all faith...

And Godwin's Law in 8 posts, not bad.

"So no, sometimes you have to "slap" people down, the trick is to know when that "slapping" has to stop, before you become the aggressor."

Hate to tell you this youngfellamelad, but if you're "slapping", you are the aggressor.

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"If someone had the balls to stand up to Hitler and (more importantly) his cronies early on, WW2 may not of happened."

I could really see this happening.

Imagine Neville Chamberlain asking Hitler to be more "inclusive". "Why yes, Prime Minister Neville" Hitler replies,"You are so correct. And just to show my good faith in the matter, I've just included the Sudetenland...."

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@BlartVersenwaldIII

Actually "twat" has for an awfully long time meant a certain part of the female anatomy, so "you fat twat" means the same as "you fat cunt". There are few people today who accept cunt as "nice" language so why should twat be considered OK?

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I don't consider removing bigoted comments from source code to be "persecution".

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"How you can be "to the right of" the same is beyond me, "

The anachonism is supportable usage. What irritates me is the implication that if you're right wing == racism | sexism | homophobia.

The Fascists (as in the Italian party that introduced the word to the modern era) were formerly the Italian socialists and their policies were a fusion of left wing and right wing approaches. The Nazis were the 'National Socialists' and their progress was from early socialism to a kind of state corporatism and massive state control over business. "Right Wing" is not a synonym for everything evil in the world, even if the media and many left wing types like to present it as such. Sadly racism, sexism, et al. are traits of _humans_ first and foremost.

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Trollface

"['Genghis Khan' i]s presumably a transcription to the Latin alphabet of a Chinese transcription of a pair of Mongol words, so you could probably spell it any way you like."

I doubt many people would agree with one spelling it "Adolf Hitler", even though that would probably be true to life. :-)

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Coat

But...

But what about my new Flappy Birds clone where a dog has to save her puppies by flying through obstacles formed by bundles of sticks? Its called Faggoty Bitch.

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Re: But(t)...

Come to think of it, "Flappy Birds" in itself is a quite offensive name indeed. Don't thank me for the mental image(s)*, you're welcome really.

*disgustingness may vary depending on your imagination.

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Equal or !=

> there is no place for ... any other kind of exclusive attitudes

So provided one's comments are equally offensive or abusive to all people, you're fine?

Hmmm.

( how about an addition to <errno.h> EOFFENCE - PC gone mad ? )

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Re: Equal or !=

I'm an equal opportunities abuser.

Fuck the lot of you.

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Coat

Re: Equal or !=

@Pete. It's not PC gone mad. It's PC gone mentally challenged. Thanks.

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Devil

Re: Equal or !=

For me it's not about being PC, it's just my default pedantry that if I insult someone on the internet I don't want to use a gendered insult, because I might get their gender wrong, and they might be insufficiently insulted.

Instead I try and insult people with words like "Arsehole", which is an equal opportunities insult.

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Re: Equal or !=

Or as Gunny Hartman so eloquently put it

"You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless."

Bitches and faggots the best GitHub can do? - they don't make abuse like they used to.

I'll get my (Full Metal) jacket

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Re: Equal or !=

> It's not PC gone mad. It's PC gone mentally challenged. Thanks

Actually I was hoping for a variant on EFAULT¹ (bad address) when you get a pointer wrong - or in this case the PC (Program Counter) as a play on words acronyms. Looks like I didn't set the gag up well enough.

[1] man errno

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Joke

And this is news why?

I had always sort of assumed that Github was a hub for Gits anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

The real question here is if he's a "non-moral" vegetarian, why does he spend so much of his time preaching and bragging about it?

I doubt people take issue with his dietary choices - what he eats or doesn't eat is of little consequence to me - but if he doesn't shut up about it I can see how that would get annoying.

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Trollface

Something from the old jokes home is relevant here.

"I say I say I say, how do you tell if a person is a vegan?"

"I don't know, my good man, how do you tell if a person is a vegan?"

"You don't have to, they'll tell you soon enough!"

"I do not wish to know that.. cont p94.

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That's my code knackered then.....

I suppose I can expect a takedown notice for my "Faggot Finder" app which so many foodies have found useful on visits to the Midlands in search of this great delicacy.

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Re: That's my code knackered then.....

I too was wondering what GitHub's patrons have against tasty pork dishes in gravy.

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Re: That's my code knackered then.....

You Midlanders are weird. Up in Yorkshire we burn our faggots.

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Re: That's my code knackered then.....

Up in Yorkshire we burn our faggots.

And in Eastern England they use faggots to build roads and banks. With any luck there are quite a lot of faggots in the vicinity of Scunthorpe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's my code knackered then.....

HAR HAR HAR - He said faggot, but he was talking about a food. It's funny because he is really saying a homophobic insult and getting away with it because he's pretending it's about food.

As someone who has had to deal with people screaming that word at me in the street through my teenaged years (only while I was alone and they were in groups, of course) I would just like to say to you in as clear a manner as possible:

Grow The Fuck Up.

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he's pretending it's about food.

Bollocks. Faggots *ARE* a food. No pretence about it. They are a kind of meat ball.

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Re: That's my code knackered then.....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/10511413/Beef-faggots-are-back-as-Waitrose-records-a-boom-in-sales-of-forgotten-cuts-of-meat.html

http://www.uptonsbutchers.com/faggots.asp

http://www.farmerschoice.co.uk/meat/buyfaggots

and many many more.....

If you ask a neutral question in the Midlands like "What do you think of faggots?" I would bet that the majority answer would be "lovely with mash, peas and a bit of gravy" and at most 1 in every 100 might even consider it to be a question about homosexuals. Like many words that have been hi-jacked over the years (Hacking for example) some people believe that the new, agenda led meaning is the only meaning and anybody who happens to use the word in it's older (or normal for many people) context is all of a sudden sexist, racist, homophobic, whatever.

However don't worry that your not being marginalised enough because not enough Midland people understand your narrow meaning of a self perceived insult, Midlanders have plenty of terms of abuse and ridicule that can and are used to insult uphill gardeners who pay with nine bob notes to travel on the other bus, just not the word "faggot".

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