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-   -   OKCupid asks users to boycott Firefox because of CEO's gay rights stance (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=89070)

St. Alia 01 April 2014 02:10 AM

OKCupid asks users to boycott Firefox because of CEO's gay rights stance
 
Quote:

Anyone accessing the popular dating site OKCupid with Firefox today is in for a surprise. Instead of the homepage, OKCupid.com is serving Firefox users with a message calling out Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for his support of California's Proposition 8, highlighted by a $1000 donation made in 2008. "Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples," the message tells users. "We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."
http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/31/55...eos-gay-rights

I understand boycotting places like Hobby Lobby, where the beliefs of the owners are apparent in their business practices, but does the different set up here make it less of a positive thing?

Just so I'm clear-I'm pretty much happy with vocally and adamantly speaking against those who would restrict equal rights. I'm just not sure where I stand on this specific issue as the policy of the company seems to be at odds with the personal beliefs of the new CEO.

E. Q. Taft 01 April 2014 02:17 AM

Yeah, I have to admit, I'm not wholly on board with this one. I don't use Firefox as my primary browser; I recently did re-install it because Chrome was giving me issues with videos on one of the websites I frequent (there's a conflict issue between its built in Flash-player and the separately installed one) and IE is just frustratingly slow (I have XP, so I'm still using IE 8; later versions may be somewhat better). Firefox did not improve matters, though, so I am not really using it, but that's not the same as boycotting it.

I certainly don't agree with the CEO's views, but I'll bet I don't agree with many political views of a lot of executives of companies whose products I use. As long as it doesn't affect the way they run the company, I'm reluctant to let that overly influence my choices.

Richard W 01 April 2014 09:52 AM

Ironically, they appear to have implemented the warning in JavaScript. Ha. This does seem a bit stupid.

firefighter_raven 01 April 2014 12:41 PM

It would be better to use firefox to go online and make donations to groups fighting crap similar to Prop 8.

GenYus234 01 April 2014 03:24 PM

I'm not on board with a website commenting on the political implications of a browser company either for or against it. It gets to close to net non-neutrality for my taste.

Richard W 01 April 2014 04:13 PM

And as I (didn't quite) say above, the guy was the original developer, or "inventor", of JavaScript...! It's a bit of an empty gesture for an internet company to try to boycott his work by restricting a browser. Especially since they used JavaScript to do so...

Jay Temple 01 April 2014 06:31 PM

How does it even hurt Firefox?

WildaBeast 01 April 2014 06:41 PM

That's what I was wondering. You can download Firefox for free, but Wikipedia says the Mozilla Foundation is primarily funded by "search royalties" from Google. So maybe if you use the search box in Firefox to do a Google search Mozilla makes money?

Chloe 01 April 2014 07:12 PM

Maybe it doesn't hurt FireFox. Maybe it's just a reminder than OKCupid is gay-friendly and doesn't like anti-gay bigotry.

JoeBentley 03 April 2014 08:42 PM

Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO

Quote:

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/0...s-mozilla-ceo/

snopes 05 April 2014 12:54 AM

In Gay Rights Fights, Bullies Love to Play the Victim
 
In Andrew Sullivan’s assessment of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s resignation, the former exec was “hounded” from his job by gay rights “fanatics.” But this was a business decision — and a revealing one.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...he-victim.html

Richard W 05 April 2014 03:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1813786)

That's a good article.

I was almost ready to object to the idea of people being "denied" or "forced out of" jobs because of their ideological beliefs myself - even though I don't agree with this guy's own ideology; I just don't like the idea that it might happen to you if you have "controversial" ideas - or a "controversial" lifestyle. But that's a false equivalence. Eich's ideas aren't "controversial", they're wrong - and now seen as wrong. They harm people. And he wasn't "denied" or "forced out of" the job, it was a business decision. There are surely plenty of businesses that will still employ him, if he needs a job. (I assume somebody being employed at that level has money already).

Errata 05 April 2014 04:03 AM

He took on a leadership position as the public face of the company. And he didn't just quietly hold personal views. He spent real money in a successful campaign to legally suppress civil rights, and did so listing his employer's name (which to be fair, is required). This isn't some corporation holding a witch hunt to find some file clerk with non-conforming views. His tangible actions in the name of his beliefs, put his company in a difficult position having him in charge.

I think the actions of OKCupid were an aggressive tactic, and I wouldn't have wanted to take that position in their shoes. But I'm pretty OK with how it turned out. I'm not shedding any tears over the homophobe.

Religious fundamentalists boycott companies all the time. Usually unsuccessfully, but occasionally they get concessions to shut them up because nobody is actively protesting the opposite viewpoint. They sometimes flock to businesses that share their beliefs to encourage them. I'm OK if sometimes the fundamentalists face the reverse and find out it's not always perfectly safe and consequence-free to spew hate.

People have a right to think what they want. But other people have a right to do business with who they want and employ who they want. You can't have it both ways. The government can't infringe your free speech in a situation like this, but private people can respond by exercising their freedoms in ways that may have end up poorly for you.

snopes 05 April 2014 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Errata (Post 1813821)
He took on a leadership position as the public face of the company. And he didn't just quietly hold personal views. He spent real money in a successful campaign to legally suppress civil rights.

But on the other hand, he didn't actively enact his personal views by imposing them on others in the business world. He didn't, for example, refuse to hire gays, or decline to extend employee benefits to same-sex couples, or the like. He contributed money to a political proposition under which the people of the state got to democratically decide how they wanted to deal with the issue. And he was hardly an outlier in that regard: over 7 million people voted for the proposition, and it passed handily (by a 600,000 vote margin).

As odious as most of us might see that cause, is participation in the democratic political process something we really want to stifle and punish?

Jay Temple 05 April 2014 06:21 PM

To take snopes' point further, I remember the story (I don't remember whether it was true or a UL) about an employer who said that since Obama's election was going to make layoffs necessary, he was starting with the people who had Obama stickers on their cars. Boycotting the company because you don't like the side on which the CEO participated is, in principle, the same thing.

Errata 05 April 2014 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1813853)
As odious as most of us might see that cause, is participation in the democratic political process something we really want to stifle and punish?

If the CEO donated to ban interracial marriage, then stifle and punish away. You have a right to try to use the legal system to suppress the rights of others for no good reason. But I have the right not to buy your product. Shareholders have the right to protect their investment from their dumbass CEO's crusade against human rights.

diddy 05 April 2014 10:01 PM

Indeed. Companies have several obligations, one of them is to protect itself against the actions of their employees to make sure they don’t comprise their financial interests. In this case the CEO’s donations put them into a very nasty situation where their company was put in jeopardy. As people have pointed out before - he has the right to say or express himself how he wishes, but there are consequences to speech.

In this case, he has every right to support Prop 8 financially. However his employer doesn’t have to accept that and the board can coerce him to resign so that they can protect their business from people that may not like that speech either.

UEL 05 April 2014 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chloe (Post 1812870)
Maybe it doesn't hurt FireFox. Maybe it's just a reminder than OKCupid is gay-friendly and doesn't like anti-gay bigotry.

Just a jumping off point...

It was pointed out on coverage up here that this guy had the same point of view that President Obama held in 2008, and the president held until last year.

I've got my concerns about the issue in principle. This could be the top of a very slippery slope.

Errata 05 April 2014 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1813899)
It was pointed out on coverage up here that this guy had the same point of view that President Obama held in 2008, and the president held until last year.

It's a bit facile to label their positions as "the same". While he didn't yet support gay marriage at that time, he also didn't support Prop 8 at that time.

Prior to that, Obama was already on the record as supporting civil unions with the same legal protections. Which, while not going quite as far as marriage, is not very indicative of the sort of person who would personally donate to pass a constitutional amendment against it. There's a big difference between not yet being sold on marriage vs. civil unions and actively wanting to entrench that distinction in the constitution for all time. The Prop 8 supporters hardcore enough to fund the campaign were probably not huge fans of civil unions either. While it did pass with a slim majority at the time, I think it's fair to say that the majority of voters who swung it were as a group rather more ambivalent on the issue than the die hards actually funding the campaigns pro or con.

Chloe 05 April 2014 11:49 PM

Not only didn't he favor Prop 8, I don't even think he was genuinely against gay marriage. I think he said what he had to say to not have the media go crazy. The tides have changed a lot in the last few years, thank DOYCON.


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