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IESG Statement On Oppressive or Exclusionary Language
23 Jul 2020
This statement highlights initial discussions about the use of oppressive or exclusionary language in IETF documents.
The IESG believes the use of oppressive or exclusionary language is harmful. Such terminology is present in some IETF documents, including standards-track RFCs, and has been for many years. It is at odds with our objective of creating an inclusive and respectful environment in the IETF, and among readers of our documents.
The IESG realizes that the views of the community about this topic are not uniform. Determining an actionable policy regarding problematic language is an ongoing process. We wanted to highlight that initial discussions about this topic are taking place in the general area (a draft is slated for discussion in GENDISPATCH at IETF 108). Updating terminology in previously published RFCs is a complex endeavor, while making adjustments in the language used in our documents in the future should be more straightforward.
The IESG looks forward to hearing more from the community, engaging in those discussions, and helping to develop a framework for handling this issue going forward.