I wrote this on Hatch — our internal version of Medium — on 13 March. The post is presented here with minimal edits. See Hatching Inside Medium for more context.

On Names

Names are important; they are more than just words, they shape and color the things they name.
— From the Journal of Xavier Desmond by George RR Martin

SWAT is our on-call and release team. It stands for Site Wellness, Availability, and Triage. While the three tenets are important, and the name is catchy and memorable, it is time to rebrand.

Even though the militarization of the police isn’t new, in the last 6 months we’ve seen a marked increase in disturbing events and actions by the police. And while Swatting also isn’t new, it is being used by hate groups to try and silence victims of abuse and harassment within our community (including members of our own team).

As Nathan so eloquently pointed out on Slack:

The problem with drawing a parallel to a militarized police force is that we’re the people who are unaffected by it (like white and affluent). The tech industry already has a rep for being out of touch.

Using notes add proposals for a new name. I’ll add them to the post at the bottom and we can vote on them via highlights.


Some concepts for inspiration:

Proposed names:

Epilogue: We renamed the on-call rotation from SWAT to The Watch on 25 March.

Englishman in California. Father, engineer, photographer. Recovering adrenaline junky. Founder @ www.range.co. Previously: Medium, Google.