This is a story I've been following for a while.

Mozilla, the owner of Firefox web browser (which, I think, is the Mercury browser on Ipad) and other applications, appointed a new CEO, Brendan Eich.  EIch is apparently a techie guru of great talent - inventor of Javascript -  and ambition.

As it happens, in 2008 Eich contributed $1,000 to the anti-equality Proposition 8 campaign in California, a campaign that demonized LGBT people and denied us of a previously granted right to marry.  

Eich's appointment resulted in resignations of some at Mozilla.  Others continue to call for his resignation.  As far as I can tell, reading between the lines, Eich remains anti-equality, while issuing a non-apology apology "

“I express my sorrow at having caused pain” and promised an “active commitment to equality” at the firm.

“I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion,” he wrote."

Mozilla's press releases emphasize the company's committment to equality and freedom of expression and diversity.

While searching for this post, I noted that the OK Cupid (a matchmaking company?) is blocking firefox,and supplying links for other browsers.

I'm not sure what to think about the whole thing.  Based on the little info here, do I like Eich?  No.  Do I think he has the right to express his opinion?  Yes.  If other than his anti-equality views, he is the most qualified person to run his company, do I think he should be  fired?  I don't think so.  What if, say, he expressed white supremist views?  How would I feel?  I would think he's a complete ass.  And I probably would support firing him.  So I must be sublimating my own desire for equality, to the issue of racial equality.  That's all I can think of it.  

Of course, a CEO is not just a technician.  The CEO is sometimes also the figurehead.  Like Steve Jobs at Apple, if the CEO is charismatic, he can literally "make" the company  What happens if he's the opposite of charismatic? 

Under every president before the current one, the USA had a homophobic president.  That included Clinton, who signed homophobic legislation, and Bush, who used LGBT people as a scare-tactic.  But I have not boycotted the USA.

I'm not sure what to think.  In my heart of hearts, I want to see Eich fired.  I took Firefox off my laptop, mainly because every time I used it, I thought about Eich's 2008 donation, and his current lack of being forthcoming about is own views, even in the context of a pledge by the company for diversity and support.  But it bothers me, that there is a thought-police aspect to this issue.

Tags: Firefox, LGBT, boycott, browsers, marriage equality, thought police

Views: 90

Replies to This Discussion

OK What are your options? 

Do nothing and grit your teeth; 

Boycott and let him/them know your actions and why;

Encourage others to boycott until and unless he expresses his honest thoughts about LGBT;

Boycott publicly, expressing your desire for a clearer statement about his values and requesting that he provide monetary support for LGBT as an indication of his change of mind; 

What are the pros and cons of each option?

What will make you feel more comfortable?

Out of the 7 billion human beings on the planet, there must be someone who has developed the services such as his and is pro LGBT. 

As for me, I would protest loudly, defining my displeasure and what I expect from him. I would try to find others of like mind and form a coalition and take a group stand. People call me a loud-mouth and trouble-maker. But what the heck, what do we have to lose/gain if we take stands in our own self-interest? How else does social change take place? 

Joan you lay it out very well.

EIch developed JavaScript which seems to be about everywhere.  So there probably isn't escaping it.  The Firefox browser has some advantages over other's when it comes to privacy.  But, Firefox has plenty of flaws, and we can easily get by without it.

It looks like Firefox gains the vast majority of its income by embedding google as its search engine.  According to this article, of Firefox's $104 million income - small for an internet company, $85 million came from google.   That was in 2011.  My firefox browser still has Google as its default search engine.  Which I replaced with Duckduckgo, which does not collect data or bubble its users, unlike google.  

It's hard for me to figure out how web browsers make money.  Apparently, some don't, but the big search engines make money by collecting and selling data, and from advertising which in part consists of answering your search with a featured, paid product response.

"The search engine makes money every time someone clicks on one of these ads. This technique is known as pay-per-click advertising. Advertisers pay or bid for placements in the search results for keyword phrases of their choice. Each time a user clicks one of the ads in the search results it costs the advertiser – this payment is made directly to the search engine."

So the search engine company can pay the browser company to make its product the default.  Unless it's Chrome, which is owned by Google.

Duckduckgo makes money from "  contextualized search ads that generate “sponsored links.”  whatever that is.  Users go to DuckDuckGo because DDG does not collect data on its users.

So by using DDG through Firefox, I THINK the user is depriving Firefox of a source of income.  I don't know that, I'm sppeculating.  DDG might have to pay Firefox money to be included.  I started using Chrome more, but  Opera might be a better choice.  Maybe Grinning Cat or Loren can chime in, I am a babe in the woods on this topic.

Thousands of people are protesting Eich's appointment via social media, and they "Don't like Eich".  Not that they would get that pun, being so young.

There seems to be a trend of somewhat young male successful homophobes making an impact.  WIlliam Saletan of Slate was positive about the bogus non-study study that used thousands of respondents but only about one or 2 gay parents, not in a stable relationship, to say that LGBT people make bad parents.  Newsweek's new young male owners have questionable christianist views of LGBT people, the two new owners "started their company in 2006 reportedly after meeting via Christian fellowships, and have frequently been the subject of reports linking them to David Jang, a controversial Korean pastor who is also the founder of Olivet University, an evangelical school based in San Francisco, California."

My feeling is the Mozilla now has themselves in a bind.  Mozilla has a kind of "alternative", liberal gestalt   Through whatever internal politics - and corporate internal politics is a kind of warfare, brutal and take-no-prisoners - they now have a CEO who will likely change the  corporate culture.  

Mozilla CEO steps down due to political backlash

http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/03/mozilla-ceo-steps-down/

After a slew of criticism and increased scrutiny over his donations to an anti gay-marriage bill in California, Mozilla's newly appointed CEO Brendan Eich has stepped down. The company recently published a blog post that read, "Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it." This is despite many assertions Eich has made in several interviews in the past week that he would not resign, even though multiple employees have come forward on Twitter and elsewhere asking him to leave. Popular dating site OkCupid also made its opinions clear by refusing Firefox users access to its website for a short period. In an interview with Re/Code, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said that Eich's ability to lead has been compromised due to the increased scrutiny over the issue. She also told the publication that Eich's decision to resign was his own and not due to any pressure from her or the board. There is currently no leading candidate to replace Eich, though efforts to seek one are underway.

Wow!  That's great!  ONly a few years ago, it wouldn't have been an issue.  

He was so disingenuous.  He refused to comment on his antigay contributions, and refused to state that he believes in discrimination against his own employees and neighbors.

Of course they are not going to say they fired him.  

Having watched a couple of corporations from the inside, getting to the CEO slot can take a lot of politicking for many years, a lot of wrangling, backstabbing, coalitions and scheming.  For someone to become CEO can mean they are the best for the company, but it can also be the culmination of a career of machiavellian maneuvering.

I don't feel bad for Eich.  Since he was not forthright about his antigay sentiments, he could not be trusted to not-discriminate against LGBT employees either.

He will still be fabulously wealthy.  Now I hope he goes and dives into his pile of dollars and gold like Scrooge McDuck.

Most corporate CEO's are part of the "good ole boys club."  It's a relatively small army of men.  They are out of touch with the real world.  They think they are above the law.  They think the business world would collapse without their dedication to themselves and to their fellow CEO's.  They make sure they reward themselves before any consideration for the corporation and its employees. 

These people NEVER get fired.  They have the luxury of "stepping down."  This happens ONLY after it has been decided that irreparable damage has been done that could affect the corporate bottom line.  Stepping down also insures that they still get to collect their golden parachute before moving on to their next venture.  Their next venture usually includes sitting on the corporate board at one of their fellow CEO's companies, or getting snatched up to lead another corporation.  In the latter case, they get the opportunity to collect yet another golden parachute, but only after they've fucked up that business as well and need to step down.  These guys are so predictable and are basically interchangeable.  

Bingo!  From another website I just looked at, "Politicans are like diapers.  They need to be change often, and for the same reason".  Just change "Politician" to "CEO".  despair.com

oh I used to watch Duck Tales - cool thanks

So now that the CEO is out would it be ok to continue using Firefox? Looks like they have taken care of the controversy.

Yes. They came through ina big way. However they got themselves into this, they expressed strong antidiscrimination attitude and pro freedom of speech at the end.

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