It’s becoming increasingly clear that when Mozilla's hiring of anti-gay activist Brendan Eich as CEO was questionable from both a moral and a business standpoint. Several developers launched boycotts last week when the company announced that Eich, who gave $1,000 in support of Proposition 8 in California six years ago, would be taking over as CEO. Now, OkCupid is telling users of Firefox, Mozilla’s flagship product, that they’d prefer them to use a different web browser. Ouch.
As of today, OkCupid members who try and log on via Firefox are greeted with a message explaining that the dating site opposes the hiring of Eich, and would like its users not to use Firefox to access OkCupid.
“Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience,” the message reads. “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.”
Mozilla attempted damage control when the controversy broke, clarifying in a statement Saturday that the company itself supports marriage equality and that “Mozilla’s community is made up of people who have very diverse personal beliefs working on a common cause, which is a free and open internet.” But that hasn’t pacified any of the objection.
OkCupid and the other boycotters are thus taking an absolutist position on this issue. Not only are they refusing to support a company that opposes marriage equality; they're refusing to support a company that empowers opponents of gay marriage. It’s an attempt not just to deprive anti-gay companies of profits, but to discourage the hiring of anti-gay people to begin with. That's a hardball tactic if there ever was one.
Here’s the full OkCupid message:
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.