Mozilla foundation's new CEO causes concern due to anti-gay-marriage views

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in legal on (#3HA)
story imageThe guy co-founded Mozilla and served as Netscape's chief architect . He invented Javascript . He's been Mozilla's chief technical officer for 9 years. On March 24th, Brendan Eich became the Mozilla Foundation's CEO - and members of Mozilla's staff promptly demanded that he step down . Why? Because Brendan Eich is anti-gay-marriage.

The BBC , CFO World , and others are reporting that online dating site OK Cupid is notifying users of Firefox of the views of the Mozilla Foundation's new CEO - and requesting that they use another browser to access the site. It's not quite a boycott - users can still click through to access the site while using Firefox - but it's definitely a statement. This isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened. Hobby Lobby , Chick-Fil-A , and Costco have all experienced similar backlashes.

Mark Surman, XO of Mozilla, says:
"I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves, that people are angry and don't know who we are or where we stand. And, I worry that in the time it takes to work this through and explain ourselves the things I love about Mozilla will be deeply damaged."

At what point do a person's political, personal, or religious views outweigh their qualifications for leadership - and does using Firefox in any way imply support of these views?

Re: Disagreement (Score: 1)

by kerrany@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 15:58 (#YF)

Heh, I think the point was that by using the software, you appear to be supporting the beliefs of the Mozilla foundation and, by extension, its CEO. I support free software - but it is the antithesis of discrimination. The guy who runs Mozilla supports discrimination. That's a headscratcher for me - presumably they chose him because he epitomizes their views, and that's disturbing. Personally, I think they made a mistake. The guys at the end of this thread have it right - this could hurt Mozilla's reputation, especially since people are making a moderate fuss about it.

Mind if I restate your points, as I read them? This is what it sounds like you're saying, as far as I can tell:

1. I know there are assholes out there and I don't know who they are, but some of them probably make things I use. I might object to paying them money for stuff if I knew who they were.

2. The software's free, so it doesn't matter what the CEO thinks - because using it isn't the same as giving them money. (How does the Mozilla foundation support itself? Why do they try to get users, if users are worthless?)

3. If something is free, it should be used without restraint. (Not restrictions - restrictions are things that limit HOW you can use the software, not WHETHER you should use the software. Restraint is the thing that makes you go, "Hey wait a minute here..." when something like this comes up.) To rephrase, it sounds like you mean: free as in beer means free as in morals - if the KKK started giving out free cupcakes, it'd be OK to take one.

4. That last paragraph reads like "Even asking this question is rude. I might think it's OK to discriminate against gay people, but I can't say that because people would get offended and I'd look like a dick. Making me have to hide that opinion is mean." I don't think you meant it that way, but the air of discomfort behind it is readable.

I want to point out that the question I was trying to ask - will this harm Mozilla? Is this something we should be worrying about and trying to put a halt to? Is this bad for the community? - was not built on the assumption that you supported one viewpoint or the other beyond the basic "controversy bad, Firefox good". Yeah, personally, I'm all for equal rights, and I love Firefox and other free software, but I do not expect you to share those opinions. I do expect you to have an opinion (cuz everyone does) and - if you choose to express it - to express it in a way that makes some sense, but aside from that? Who gives a damn.

OK, sure, maybe this is a trivial topic. People are dying in thousands of unpleasant ways every day; a cure for cancer still hasn't manifested; there was a giant friggin' earthquake in Chile yesterday. But... this is news for nerds, not news for people concerned only with the gravest of SRS BSNSS - and honestly, I do think this will do Firefox's (and Mozilla's) reputation some harm. It's already done some harm to it and the harm is ongoing.
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