The Citizens Advice service has banned staff from using the term 'blacklisting' over fears that it is offensive and 'fosters stereotypes'.*sigh*
The taxpayer- funded quango, which advises members of the public on consumer, legal and money issues, has instead replaced it with 'blocklisting' to avoid appearing 'prejudicial'.
The two terms are both used in IT to mean the same thing. They refer to what are effectively lists of computers or computer networks which have been identified as sending spam and enable mail servers to ban or flag up mail sent from them.Oh. Not just because you have too many penpushers with very little to do, then, which was my first guess?
Emails to members of staff at the service say the move has been made to keep 'in line with aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service'.
Critics branded it 'daft' and 'political correctness going over the top', but the Citizens Advice has refused to back down, even though critics say it renders everyday communications unintelligible.Well, at least that fits in with the rest of these quangos’ output…
The ban on blacklisting applies across the whole of Citizens Advice. A former volunteer said banning blacklisting was 'the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen' and has stopped helping at his local branch because of it.So, this barmy decision is actually having an effect on the staff, albeit not one they probably planned for….
A spokesman for the service said: 'Our approach to language is not prescriptive or dogmatic, but where we know or become aware that something is offensive, fosters stereotypes or prejudice, or is inaccurate, it makes sense and is respectful to use alternatives.'If someone considers the term ‘blacklisting’ to be offensive, they undoubtedly have problems far beyond the ability of the Citizens Advice Service to fix.
So, why bother…?