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News & For Sale “Regarding Firefox and Mozilla” by m1cnBot

 
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m1cnBot 2 years ago on 03/31/14

Story Originally Posted By: John Booty

Article PictureMozilla, maker of Firefox, is a non-profit company that is very dear to my heart.

Without Mozilla's efforts to support an open Internet that respects standards and users' privacy it is extremely likely that we would have wound up with a Microsoft-dominated Internet in the 2000s or a Google-dominated Internet in the current decade.

Additionally, Mozilla releases source code to all of its software, allowing all of us to participate in its development or modify it for our own purposes. They do much good.

Recently Mozilla named a new CEO, Brendan Eich, who donated $1,000 to an anti gay-marriage organization in 2008. This is unacceptable. Marriage is one of the many basic rights that all humans should have, and one of the many rights frequently denied to same-sex couples.

It is unacceptable even though Mozilla has an inclusive culture and mission statement and puts its money where its mouth is by extending benefits to same-sex partners of all employees. One wrong and one right don't make two rights, and many rights don't erase a single wrong.

However, I don't believe that blindly switching browsers away from Firefox to Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Chrome (as OK Cupid has advised its users) is a ethically a step forward. Those for-profit companies have many questionable practices that dwarf a $1,000 donation to a shitty cause.

Instead, we should pressure Mozilla to reconsider its choice of CEO: here or on Twitter or on Facebook or anywhere else we can.

PS: If you must switch away from Firefox, I would recommend Chromium as a least-bad alternative. Chromium is the basis of Google's Chrome, but using it does not financially support Google in any way that I am aware of.

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Digital Night 2 years ago on 04/01/14
Equipped: Portable Confessional. Have YOU been good? named "Forgive me Father, for I am Sin."
Can I export Greasemonkey scripts to another browser? (Also, Adblock Plus)

Thanks ahead of time Robot!
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Princess Shoujo Maiku 2 years ago on 04/02/14
Equipped: Embarassing Yaoi Fanfiction by LostDecoy named "The Adventures of Junun and Dio"
chrome/Chromium have greasemonkey support built in.
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Digital Night 2 years ago on 04/02/14
Equipped: Portable Confessional. Have YOU been good? named "Forgive me Father, for I am Sin."
Rock on. I have a ton of the old(er) Moderator scripts, and I need to bring them along for the ride.(as well as my MP3/Youtube and others)
 
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A Study in Pink 2 years ago on 04/02/14
Huh! This is what I miss when I'm off of facebook! Now to waste an hour reading about it.
PS: I really want to say that his skills and massive contributions to technology in general should outweigh a donation in 2008 in support of an overturned anti-gay law.

I really want to say that. But I can't. This is disappointing, but I think it's unlikely he'll step down. The dude does not give a shit what we think, he thinks we're all wrong about those gross gays. We're the crazy ones.
PS: You actually don't "have the freedom" to believe whatever you want regarding things that are directly in line with your job duties. It's silly to say that his "personal beliefs" are somehow separate, because those beliefs have the potential to affect the entire organization. When you're CEO, your bullshit has more influence in a multitude of ways. He has a set of beliefs that some humans are worse than others and as he works with humans and is now the head of a large organization made up of humans, I'd say his "personal" beliefs are very much an issue of the entire organization.

I mean, fuck, look at Hobby Lobby.
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mheart 2 years ago on 04/02/14
Equipped: Espionage Codec named "Don't call me for no reason! <3"
What's his stance now, in 2014?

@Mozilla said:
Mozilla supports LGBT equality. Read more from Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker. http://mzl.la/1hM0XBI


Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality: https://...mozilla.org/.../mozilla-supports-lgbt-equality/
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John Booty 2 years ago on 04/03/14
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He won't say what his personal beliefs are today. We can't be completely certain that he's still against it, but does anybody doubt it? Unless he renounces that 2008 donation we have to believe he's still against same-sex marriage.

In an interview this week, Eich said:

Interviewer: You haven't really explicitly laid it out, so I'll just ask you: how do you feel gay-marriage rights? How did you feel about it in 2008, and how do you feel about it today?
Eich: I prefer not to talk about my beliefs. One of the things about my principles of inclusiveness is not just that you leave it at the door, but that you don't require others to put targets on themselves by labeling their beliefs, because that will present problems and will be seen as divisive.


http://...cnet.com/...estorm-could-hurt-firefox-cause-q-a/

I do believe that he is definitely committed to inclusiveness at Mozilla. Having followed Mozilla over the years, I have no reason to doubt that Eich earnestly believes this.

The question is whether he can do this effectively, despite his best intentions.

I mean, substitute "interracial marriage" for "gay marriage."

Would you want to work for a CEO who says he's committed to inclusiveness and equality in the workplace, but donated money to an organization that wants to make it illegal for black people to marry white people?

A whole lot of people wouldn't work for that guy, no matter good that CEO promised to treat interracial couples in his company, and no matter how earnestly he wanted to do that in his earnest little heart of hearts.

A whole lot of people feel that way about Eich's Prop 8 donation, and that's why it's harmful to Mozilla in addition to being a shitty thing to do in the first place.
 
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A Study in Pink 2 years ago on 04/03/14
John Booty said:
The question is whether he can do this effectively, despite his best intentions.


What does it even mean, for him to have good intentions? Good intentions to what? He's already demonstrated he is willing to take a stance against equality for sexual preference, but he's going to, what, swallow his bile and do it anyway because people are forcing him to? He demonstrated support for forcing other people he isn't even responsible for to live in a certain way, but when it's people he's responsible for, he's going to treat them better?

It's a stupid situation. He should not be CEO.
PS: I'm agreeing with you, btw. I am just saying that absolutely no matter what, this was a poor choice, but what can really be done about it?
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Beltane 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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I just read that he has resigned!
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John Booty 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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It's great news, though it sucks that the company will lose his talents as well. But... great news!
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Senator Hideki 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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Bullying a talented, innovative technology leader into resigning over $1000 from six years ago.

Yeah, that's "great news". It's just so satisfying when reactionary bullshit wins.

But around here, I'm just shouting in the storm, aren't I?

Moderator Johnny Landmine Says:

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Johnny Landmine 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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re: "reactionary"
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Slade xTekno 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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Another shallow victory in the culture wars of the left. You know that liberals have run out of solutions to offer when it moves to quash free speech and debate, the principles on which it claims to rest.
PS: To be fair, the right isn't offering much at the moment, either.
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mheart 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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John Booty said:
He won't say what his personal beliefs are today. We can't be completely certain that he's still against it, but does anybody doubt it? Unless he renounces that 2008 donation we have to believe he's still against same-sex marriage.


I was thinking of statistics as I wrote my post and haven't researched how much gay marriage rights has become increasingly supported, but it is increasing. Basically, as an example, on this site we don't use the terms fag and gay in the derogatory way they used to be - we're capable of saying "yeah I fucked up" and an acknowledgement of changed beliefs would have made things slightly better for Eich. That's why I asked. Even if he had changed, though, it would have been a forgive but not forget situation. You know what I'm sayin'.
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Put A Bird On It! 2 years ago on 04/04/14
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Slade xTekno said:
You know that liberals have run out of solutions to offer when it moves to quash free speech and debate, the principles on which it claims to rest.


Can I just point out how much I absolutely hate it when people point to stuff like this and say it's liberals stepping on free speech?

Freedom of speech means that except for a few very specific cases (e.g. yelling fire in a theater, revealing classified information, threatening the president, libel), you can't be arrested or sued just for saying something. However, if private citizens don't like something a person says they are completely within their rights to disassociate themselves with that person and any companies they are a part of, as well as encouraging others to do the same. It's called a boycott and they've been happening for over a century, it just happens to be easier to get the word out now thanks to the internet.

The reason I really hate it is because boycotts are actually one of the most effective, citizen driven ways of forcing change, but saying it like that makes it sound like they're a bunch of censors trying to terrorize their opponents to squash dissent. Just because they aren't debating it doesn't mean they're trying to squash it, it just means they are under no obligation to sit you down and explain why that shitty thing you said was a shitty thing. That's especially true in this case since by now it's been publicly discussed for years, and anyone still against it probably isn't going to change their mind no matter how many facts you give them.

tl;dr: you have the right to say shitty things, other people have the right to let the world know you said a shitty thing and stop giving you money. In this case it's debatable whether or not it was an over-reaction given the circumstances, but either way it's an expression of freedom and not a curtailment of it.

Moderator Barney Stinson Says:

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Kumba 2 years ago on 04/05/14
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I've mused for the past few days on this topic, not quite sure on how to put into a short blurb what my thoughts are on this topic. But then I found this op-ed that really sums up my thoughts better than I think I could write it:

Danny Westneat said:
Except that also last week, a Silicon Valley technology firm, Mozilla, buckled to public pressure and ousted its new CEO, Brendan Eich, when it was revealed he had given $1,000 to Proposition 8 opposing gay marriage six years ago.

Officially he resigned, but you can be sure he was told to go. There was no evidence his views against legalizing gay marriage had any effect on his various jobs at the company, including in his treatment of gay co-workers. (He’d been there since the 1990s.)

So this was also a decision about image. Mozilla decided that a marriage traditionalist, a one-man, one-woman devotee, made the company look archaic or bigoted. So he was purged.

I realize these cases have differences — in the facts and in all the history that came before. But they are not that different in sensibility. One was hounded out for who he is, the other for what he believes.

What happened to live and let live?

. . .
I’m a longtime supporter of both gay rights and gay marriage. But I do wonder, now that my side has basically won, if we’re becoming another flavor of the intolerance we protested against.


http://seattletimes.com/...s/2023310956_westneat06xml.html
PS: Here's another good one:

Mitchell Baker said:
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech," Baker said. "Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.


Andrew Sullivan said:
You want to squander the real gains we have made by argument and engagement by becoming just as intolerant of others' views as the Christians?

You've just found a great way to do this. It's a bad, self-inflicted blow. And all of us will come to regret it.


http://...chron.com/...ises-free-speech-issues-5377124.php

This is the very difficult balance our society has to self-determine. Where do you draw the line between free speech and equality?

I despise groups like the KKK, Westboro, and others of their ilk. But they have a right to free speech like anyone else, even if it means they do nothing but espouse hateful opinions, barbs, and insults. This is the underlying, bedrock foundation that this nation is founded upon.

But when you suppress people's choices because they hold a certain viewpoint, all in the name of equality, are you really supporting equality? This is a very slippery slope we find ourselves walking upon, and we have to tread very carefully, lest we start to slide down it in an uncontrollable fashion.
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John Booty 2 years ago on 04/06/14
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Kumba said:
This is the very difficult balance our society has to self-determine. Where do you draw the line between free speech and equality?


But it's easy, isn't it?

Like PopeCorky said, free speech means you have the right to say whatever you like (as long as you're not making terroristic threats, etc) without being jailed.


Senator Hideki said:
Bullying a talented, innovative technology leader into resigning over $1000 from six years ago.

Yeah, that's "great news". It's just so satisfying when reactionary bullshit wins.

But around here, I'm just shouting in the storm, aren't I? ...


Let's not be ridiculous.

You really don't understand that when a CEO has supported a cause that aims to restrict the rights of a class of people... that incredibly undermines his ability to lead, inspire, recruit, and unite a workforce?

Would you work for a guy who contributed $1,000 to ban interracial marriage, but promised really really hard not to be racist on the job?

Even if you would, can you see how that would really turn a lot of people off (to put it mildly)?
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John Booty 2 years ago on 04/06/14
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For those like Hideki that are struggling to understand, try thinking about this completely separate from a hot-button issue like same-sex marriage.

If the CEO of Ford drove a Toyota around town -- a thing that is obviously within his or her legal rights -- don't you think that would undermine his or her authority and ability to fulfill his job duties, which is to sell a lot of Fords?

Don't you think that CEO would be some serious hot water with management and shareholders, and maybe even asked to step down if he or she seriously insisted on driving that Toyota around? Especially if it was a thing that generated a lot of negative publicity for Ford?

Do you think that would be fair?
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Kumba 2 years ago on 04/07/14
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John Booty said:
But it's easy, isn't it?

Like PopeCorky said, free speech means you have the right to say whatever you like (as long as you're not making terroristic threats, etc) without being jailed.


It's not. If it was easy, this discussion, let alone this news story, would not be taking place. This thread's entry in the backend OB database wouldn't even exist. Precisely because it's not easy is why this debate is happening, and the fact that we are having this debate is a good thing. It means we are slowly working through the processes of how to handle this situation and the others that will inevitably follow.

My concern really is, we, society, basically lynched him for what we thought he is, based on something he did six years ago. And six years ago, Prop 8 did, for a short while, become law through a public referendum. But people change over time. Prop 8 is no longer law, and it's clear that there are people out there who regretted voting for it in the first place. Did he change at all over the last six years? I don't know. I don't think anyone will ever know now. What kind of CEO he could have been is now just the subject of rampant speculation.

What we have to do now is look back at the way events unfolded and ask ourselves if that's how we really wanted it to happen. Once we understand that, then we can move forward.


John Booty said:
If the CEO of Ford drove a Toyota around town -- a thing that is obviously within his or her legal rights -- don't you think that would undermine his or her authority and ability to fulfill his job duties, which is to sell a lot of Fords?

Actually, I'd expect the CEO of a company to use, on a regular basis, the products of his or her competitors. I'd expect the CEO of Ford to own not only own or lease a Toyota, but several of their models, as well as several models of Honda, Nissan, Chevy, Dodge, VW, etc. That way, he or she can personally experience what the other companies might be doing better or worse than Ford is doing. Along with aggregated customer feedback data, the CEO then outline the strategy of the company and task the various department heads to maintain and advance the things they're doing good at, while improving the things that they're not very good at.
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Kumba 2 years ago on 04/07/14
Equipped: Most Amazing Thing Ever!!!! named "Silmarils, gems of treelight"
Here's a similarly-related case:

CSMonitor said:
Two weeks after hearing argument in a case examining whether corporations may be exempted from providing religiously objectionable contraceptives in their employee health plans, the US Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a case testing whether a commercial photographer in New Mexico has a First Amendment free speech right to refuse to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.

The high court’s refusal to hear the case came without comment from the justices. It lets stand a series of court rulings in New Mexico finding that the photographer violated a state law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Groups supporting gay rights praised the court action as an important victory.


http://...csmonitor.com/...tographer-snubbing-gay-ceremony

This is a more clear-cut case than the Mozilla one. But it still points out a glaring hole in our society: How much do we allow religious beliefs/convictions to affect the way a business operates?

In this case, it sounds like a single-employee business turned down a business opportunity because she felt it was against her religious beliefs. It was also a form of discrimination, and the NM court system upheld that. Should this person be required by the government to take up a photography job regardless of her beliefs? Is that violating her right to freedom of religion?

Tough questions.

Based on this case, could not one make the argument that Chick-Fil-A is discriminating against someone by not being open on Sundays because of their owner's religious beliefs? Should the government force them to stay open on Sunday and accept people's business, since it is quite common for other businesses to work Sundays?

Where do we draw the line between religious conviction and business rights? Should large companies like Mozilla or Chick-Fil-A be treated differently than small companies like Elaine Photography? Should, as Hobby Lobby requests, a corporation be allowed to have a company religion?

More tough questions. Questions that I don't have answers for. Questions that we, as a society have to face and eventually answer if we want to progress forward.

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