OKCupid has called for a boycott of the Firefox browser as a way to protest against the appointment of new CEO Brendan Eich, who is guilty of the crime of having made a $1,000 donation to an anti gay marriage group in California in 2008.
OKCupid is today delivering a message to all Firefox users who visit the site, stating that:
Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.
If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.
However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid.
Mozilla (the organization behind Firefox) has responded that Eich’s $1,000 donation does not reflect the position of the company, which “supports marriage equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples.”
Eich himself addressed the criticism of his appointment March 26, stating that he has “sorrow at having caused pain” and clearly addresses the relative concerns about his leadership, complete with commitments to diversity and the LGBT community at Mozilla.
A man does not make a company, and Mozilla has a strong track record of being supportive of the LGBT community, both in the workforce and the community.
Nothing in Eich’s appointment suggests this will change. Eich is apologetic for his past support of an anti-gay marriage group, and as the CEO of an not-for-profit organization, he won’t define Mozilla’s policies, vs implementing them and running the company on a day to day basis.
Which begs the question: why is OKCupid taking such a contrite, possibly click-baiting stand?
Mozilla is a company that on its main page states “doing good is part of our code.” It employs over 500 people, and works with thousands of volunteers across the world, including a significant number of people who identify as LGBT.
This is a company that was founded on diversity, a company that actually delivered it in the form of competition in the web browser space. Without the rise of Firefox we may still be living in an Internet Explorer dominant world.
It can be argued, and surely is by some that Eich as CEO sends a negative message on LGBT related issues, but calling for a boycott of Firefox hurts the organization as a whole, including its LGBT employees and volunteers.
I don’t agree with Eich’s stand in 2008 and find it wrong that marriage equality is still not a reality in all parts of the United States, let alone other parts of the Western world. The Mozilla board, and without doubt most Mozilla employees and volunteers would say the same thing.
So how long do you punish a sin of the past? Eich is entitled to his opinions, whether you find them abhorrent or not, and by all accounts he has moved on from a position he once held some six years ago.
What counts now is his actions as CEO. If he isn’t serious in his commitment to diversity and the LGBT community, he won’t last long. The Mozilla board clearly believes (at this stage) that he is.
As linked above he has openly committed to diversity at Mozilla…does he need to now flagellate himself in a public square while begging forgiveness from the critics at OkCupid and elsewhere until he is deemed to be worthy of a second chance?
Many Americans have moved from an anti-gay marriage stance to being in favor of marriage equality since 2008, if polling for support of gay marriage in 2014 accurately reflects community sentiment. Should we punish all Americans who have earlier been against marriage equality vs embracing them now for coming to believe in true equality for all?
This is nothing more than sensationalist grandstanding from OKCupid and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they are doing.
By all means OKCupid, write a blog post, send out a PR release, speak out about how you don’t agree with Eich’s appointment; you are after all entitled to your view. However, in calling for a boycott what you are doing now is actually hurting real LGBT on the ground, and it does absolutely NOTHING to advance the cause of marriage equality.
The social media sphere seems to be divided. What do you think? leave a comment below.
Disclosure: the views in this post reflect those of the writer and not necessarily the views of Social News Daily…although they should be 🙂