May 24, 2021

Petition to replace “Black Hat” with a less offensive and racially-charged term!

Hello security community,

My name is Tanisha Shaniqua-Felicia Crawford-Gibbons and I have been in security for just over 7 months now after transferring into this field from 30 years of social work.

In my role as CISO at a large healthcare institution, one of the things I picked up early on is the term “black hats” and how black hats are the “bad” hackers in the industry, and how so-called “white hats” are the heroes that defend against the black hats and keep everyone in the company safe.

Well as soon as I heard this terminology and reflected on it, I immediately sent a company-wide email forbidding the use of this terminology in all communication (email and “Skype”). My goal is to extend this to the entire internet community and all companies that read this Reddit post.

In another cross-training session, someone taught me about the tool “Jenkins” and how there are “slave nodes” that connect up to the “master node”, which I felt similarly about and immediately blacklisted (I mean, “banned”) this tool from use in the enterprise because of this nomenclature. The fact that the little Jenkins character inside the software who is issuing all the commands to the nodes is a white guy made this software even more reprehensible.

If you feel similarly, please sign your username below so that we can banish this deeply-offensive term from the security community and replace it with something less racially-charged.



No offense but stop it. I’m black and don’t find the term black hat even remotely offensive.

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