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Discussion on: DEV Community: Ableist Language & Maintaining an Inclusive Environment

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

DEV Team member here. As I wrote in response to another comment:

The intent here was never to introduce a new set of rules to DEV, but to highlight that when we speak of inclusiveness, that includes language considerations - especially when used to belittle or disrespect other community members.

English was not my first language, and I still screw things up, but in the name of respect and empathy I try to listen and learn when people tell me that my words hurt them, and I hope they will forgive me. In treating others as I wish to be treated, I have to accept the same of everyone else.

This means allowing DEV members to modify language in their posts or comments that is reported to us as hurtful, and having this post here as a primer to allow people to become aware of their language in advance. However I personally feel about the language used here, the resources @michaeltharrington linked have been created by people for whom certain words carry harmful associations.

Most of us are trying our best, but what that looks like is totally subjective from person to person and day to day. Thank you for sharing your support and suggestions, and for participating whole-heartedly in this community to advocate for accessibility.

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InHuOfficial • Edited

Hey Ella

The "reported as hurtful" bit is the key part that is impossible to get right, that is the bit I am trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to illustrate.

I sent a massive reply to Michael so hopefully that explains a little better why this is important and why this will be so very difficult to intervene on. Hopefully it makes sense (another essay...sorry!).

(tried to liquid tag the comment but it gave me an "Requires a Node, NodeSet or String argument, and cannot accept a NilClass. (You probably want to select a node from the Document with at() or search(), or create a new Node via Node.new().)" so you will have to find it I am afraid! 😋

I am totally aware everyone is doing their best, I know the whole DEV team are nice, well intentioned and lovely people, I just want this to be one area where perhaps the occasional individual being offended is actually allowed through the net for the greater good, which I know is not at the core of the principles of the site!

Basically "intervention only when someone is being hateful or deliberately attacking someone, otherwise the benefit of the doubt".

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Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

I completely understand your point. As you say yourself, that's not at the core of this site's principles.

I'm not sure I understand why anyone would insist on preserving language in a post or comment after being told someone else finds it hurtful or dehumanizing, especially if that wasn't their intention.