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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. The most famous systematic blacklist was the Hollywood blacklist, instituted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 under McCarthyism to block screenwriters and other Hollywood professionals who were purported to have Communist sympathies from obtaining employment. It started by listing 151 entertainment industry professionals and lasted until 1960 when it was effectively broken by the acknowledgement that blacklisted professionals had been working anyway under assumed names.
Conversely, a whitelist is a list or compilation identifying entities that are accepted, recognized, or privileged. "Whitelist" and "blacklist" are widely considered controversial terms because of how they reinforce an implicit association in language between "black" and "bad" on the one hand, and "white" and "good" on the other. Many institutions including colleges and universities have abandoned the terms for less charged alternatives (like "safelist," "watchlist").
The term blacklisting is generally used in a pejorative way, as it implies that someone has been systematically prevented from having legitimate access due to the whims or judgments of those in control of that access. 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 systematically blocked from finding work in that industry, may be considered to have been blacklisted. Blacklisting can and has been accomplished informally 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 and not an issue of blacklisting, nor would a shared formal response taken up by one office. In the past, blacklists 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.
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 "whitelist" is not the opposite of a blacklist, but rather a list, often kept by unions, of people suitable for employment.
 Employment context
 JABO control
In the United States, a private agency known as The Retail Exchange blacklists those who make excessive returns to participating retailers.
 Credit card merchants
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.
 Medical context
Blacklisting by multiple providers is a systematic act by doctors to deny care to a certain patient or patients. It is done in various ways for various reasons; blacklisting is not new. In 1907 the Transvaal Medical Union in South Africa blacklisted patients if they could not pay cash in advance. In this case, there was a physical list kept by the community of physicians. A physical list is not necessary to blacklist patients but the effect is the same. 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 blacklist database. Both are physical lists that blacklist patients who either have complained or sued their healthcare providers.
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”.
The term "blacklist" connotes systematic efforts to exclude persons. A new and unrecognized disease resulting in patients being unable to find treatment might not be considered blacklisting unless a group of like-minded persons united by inclination or personal belief or the equivalent systematically controlled 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.
 Nazi blacklist
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.
 California Proposition 8 supporter blacklist
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.
 NHS prescriptions
 See also
- Wilkerson, William (1946-07-29). "A Vote For Joe Stalin". The Hollywood Reporter. p. 1
- Baum, Gary; Daniel Miller (Nov. 30, 2012 (Online Nov. 19, 2012)). "Blacklist: THR Addresses Role After 65 Years". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Deacon, Harriet; Phillips, Howard; van Heyningen, Elizabeth, eds. (2004). The Cape Doctor in the Nineteenth Century: A Social History (Clio Medica, 74). Editions Rodipi B.V.
- "Web Site Encourages Blacklist of Med-Mal Plaintiffs". law.com.
- Saeed R (June 2003). "Patient's response to the research". BMJ 326 (7402): 1319. doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7402.1319. PMC 1126222. PMID 12805173.
- Clarke, Comer (1961). England Under Hitler: Revealed at Last—The Secret Nazi Plans for the Rape of England (paperback ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.
- "Resist the Blacklist". The Ledger. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- Rachel Abramowitz and Tina Daunt (November 23, 2008). Prop. 8 rifts put industry on edge. Hollywood is at odds over whether to shun supporters of the ban. LA Times. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- Weinstein, Steve (2008-11-25). "Are We Being Bullies? Debate Rages Over Boycotts". Edge. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
 Further reading
- Lorence, James J. (1999). The Suppression of Salt of the Earth: How Hollywood, Big Labor, and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-2027-9.
|Look up blacklist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Blacklisting.|