Removing the term "whitelist" from our vocabulary

Many crypto and web3 projects refer to “whitelists” – approved lists of accounts and wallets that have privileged access to drops and events. Whitelists are contrasted with a “blacklist” – people or accounts who are not permitted to use a service or attend an event.

Due to the cultural history and racial associations of these terms, I believe that:

  • We should adopt a cultural norm to stop using the term “whitelist” or “blacklist” within the Bright Moments community.
  • We should assume people have good intentions and be aware that these terms are used broadly outside of crypto
  • We should not persecute new members of the community who use these terms inadvertently and instead direct them to this post to explain why we choose to not use these terms internally or in public communications

To make this change effective, we should adopt a new term that allows us to easily refer to groups of approved users that is not “whitelist”. Any ideas?


List. You need to be on the list to get first access to those tokens.

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Word policing sucks, accommodating to woke culture is counter-productive, let’s not make corporate world out of crypto community. Blacklist has nothing to do with skin color in modern meaning of the word. Moreover, in other counties it never ever did.


Culturally and historically, whitelist and blacklist never had anything to do with race or skin color. These are well established terms within many industries. They don’t have an offensive meaning.

I’m aware that the terms have been recently boo-booed by race essentialists who tend to see all events and interactions through the lens of race. However, being a global and non-political organization the least we can do is to not ponder to these fringe groups. Let’s leave the politics to politicians.

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I think there’s nothing wrong with seeking alternative terms to use.

I’ve personally been in a few different industries and not heard the term whitelist until the NFT space, of course I’m sure whitelist has been used before.

Although in Hollywood there have been negative connotations to even the term blacklist since the days of the government pursuits to eliminate the careers of anyone related to the communist party.

I think there are plenty of ways to refer to this that even describe what it actually is more succinctly.

An “Allow List” or even simply “Presale List” is a better description in any manner. “VIP Access” or “Community Access List” could be other ways.

I think we can do better to find a clearer way to express what a “whitelist” actually is an any regard.

Fully agree with striving to use the best terms possible, like pre-sale list you mentioned! However, I don’t think we should be banning words and phrases except ones that are unambiguously offensive, and let the people decide which terms are the best in which context.

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agree. that’s why I think the above topic goes very far to not ever say “ban” and also excuses using of the term while explaining why we should choose otherwise.

nothing is being banned.

we’re trying to agree that the official terms used in announcements should be more aligned with pre-sale and early access.

this shouldn’t be an issue of persecuting ppl who say whitelist but a dialogue on how we can better phrase as a community what it actually is, which is access to pre-sale.

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Some projects use the term “access list”.

Whitelist makes no sense besides being offensive to some. Why not call a presale list, community list, or early adopters?