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A blacklist (or black list) is a list or register of entities who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition. As a verb, to blacklist can mean to deny someone work in a particular field, or to ostracize a person from a certain social circle. Conversely, a whitelist is a list or compilation identifying entities that are accepted, recognized, or privileged.
The term blacklisting is generally used in a pejorative way, as it implies that someone has been prevented from having legitimate access due to the whims or judgments of another. For example, a person being served with a restraining order for having threatened another person would not be considered a case of blacklisting. However, somebody who is fired for exposing poor working conditions in a particular company, and is subsequently blocked from finding work in that industry, may be considered to have been blacklisted. Blacklisting can and has been accomplished informally and by consensus of authority figures, and does not necessarily require a physical list or overt written record.
Blacklisting can be formal or informal. In the employment setting, applicants who apply to numerous positions regardless of being qualified or not can soon be ignored during some or all subsequent applicant processes. This can be an informal choice made by one HR professional, or a shared formal response taken up by the entire office. In the past, lists of union members have been shared or circulated between multiple organizations to prevent hiring of employees who have been critical of management or advocated on behalf of members of their profession. In Canada, CLAC operates such a blacklist.
According to the Henry Holt Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins the word "blacklist" originated with a list England's King Charles II made of fifty-eight judges and court officers who sentenced his father, Charles I, to death in 1649. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, thirteen of these executioners were put to death and twenty-five sentenced to life imprisonment, while others escaped.
They also point out that "white list" is not the opposite of a blacklist, but rather a list, often kept by unions, of people suitable for employment. Refers to the "white-list".
In the United States, a private agency known as The Retail Exchange blacklists those who make excessive returns to participating retailers.
In the United States, companies which have a merchant account terminated, and their directors, are added to a list called TMF/MATCH. This results in an almost certain automatic denial of new merchant account applications by almost all US companies offering merchant accounts.
Blacklisting is multiple providers denying care to a certain patient or patients with a connotation of volition or willfulness. It is done in various ways for various reasons and is not new. In 1907 the Transvaal Medical Union in South Africa blacklisted patients if they could not pay cash in advance. That was a physical list kept by the community of physicians. A physical list is not necessary to blacklist patients, but there have been other efforts to do that. For instance, in the United States the web site doctorsknow.us[dead link] was set up to blacklist any patient who had filed a suit against a physician. That effort was extended offshore to a website that encourages doctors to consider avoiding patients who are listed in their database. Those both are physical lists that blacklist patients who either have complained or sued their healthcare providers.
There are less formal and less visible blacklists as well. For instance, an organization called "Sufferers of Iatrogenic Neglect" knows of 40 cases where patients claim they have suffered on two counts: one, from the original human medical error, and two, because they complained about it and as a result got blacklisted. In West London, Rafat Saeed had difficulty finding a GP and says, “… it is very easy for a doctor to blacklist a patient through the Family Health Services Authority”. Angelique Omega wrote in her blog, "I was once told in a phone call by a Renown E.R. nurse, after she very quickly looked up my name in their computer, that I'd better not ever show my face there ever again. This was after I had filed complaints …"
One patient created a graph showing that every time his primary care physician knew about appointments he had with other physicians, those appointments did not result in diagnosis or treatment. All those physicians pretended to be helping, but eventually workers in one physician's office let him know that his primary care physician called them and told them not to diagnose or treat his injuries. They were protecting the physician who caused the injuries.
Data sharing also can cause patients to become blacklisted. Data sharing makes it easy to get labeled as a "problem patient" without anyone adding a name to a list. Repeat patients who are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, or patients with chronic conditions or mental illness, can get labeled as "problem patients" in computer systems that hold the records of patients and can make it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to get appointments for care. Such systems have no borders, making this a global problem.
Even without data sharing, collegial loyalty, watching each other's backs, can be enough to result in the denial of care to certain patients. Consider the patient who has been injured by a healthcare provider. Patients with iatrogenic illnesses often cannot get a record made of their injuries and often cannot get treatment. Trudy Newman in her article "Deadly Medical Practices" described the cause as being physicians having a stronger allegiance to each other than to their patients. They are reluctant to acknowledge the existence of iatrogenic injuries by diagnosing or treating them. A patient with iatrogenic injuries can go from doctor to doctor to doctor without getting diagnosed or treated and never know why. Without a list or any communication between physicians, collegial loyalty by itself results in patients with certain kinds of problems being blacklisted. The above is usual not only in UK, but by dentists in the town of Winnipeg, Canada.
However, the term blacklist does connote volition or willfulness. A new and unrecognized disease resulting in patients being unable to find treatment might not be considered blacklisting unless inclination or personal belief or the equivalent had to do with why treatment either was not found or was unreasonably difficult to find.
In computing, a blacklist is an access control system that denies entry to a specific list (or a defined range) of users, programs, or network addresses.
The Nazi blacklist was the list in The Black Book that was drawn up of 2,820 prominent British citizens such as Winston Churchill and Bertrand Russell who would have been sent to concentration camps if the United Kingdom had not won the Battle of Britain and Nazi Germany's Operation Sea Lion had succeeded in conquering Great Britain.
Following the passage of California's Proposition 8, Proposition 8 opponents obtained donation lists of those who had supported the ballot measure by contributing to the "Yes on 8" campaign, published the list, organized an activism group, and began calling for boycotts of the places of work of the supporters to force the firing or resignation of employees. Chad Griffin, a political adviser to Hollywood executives and same-sex marriage supporter explained the intent of the campaign by saying, "Any individual who has held homophobic views and who has gone public by writing a check, you can expect to be publicly judged. Many can expect to pay a price for a long time to come." There has been controversy as to whether this is appropriate response to the passage of Proposition 8 on the part of those opposed to it.
|Look up blacklist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Blacklisting.|