Society

OKCupid Tells Users Not to Use Firefox in Protest of New CEO With Anti-Gay History

| by Allison Geller

Dating site OKCupid changed its homepage for Firefox users yesterday, devoting the page to a message requesting that users boycott Mozilla in protest of new CEO Brendan Eich.

"Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples," the message tells OKCupid users, 8 percent of whom identify as gay. "We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."

The Verge reports that Eich donated $1000 in 2008 to support California’s Proposition 8, created by opponents of gay marriage. The ballot measure, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, was struck down by federal courts.

OKCupid took a stand by showing Firefox users links to four other major browsers, accompanied by these strong words: "Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

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The site did provide a link for Firefox users to proceed to the OKCupid site.

Mozilla quickly confronted the criticism. In a blog post dated March 29, titled “Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality,” Mozilla clarified its “official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people.”

“Mozilla’s mission is to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just. This is why Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples,” the editors wrote. “No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.”

Eich’s recent promotion to CEO caused a ripple of resignations in Mozilla’s board as three members resigned. Mozilla co-founder Mitchell Baker, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Katharina Borchert, chief executive of German news site Spiegel Online, all said goodbye to the company because of Eich’s takeover.

Employees have also expressed their disapproval of Eich due to his support of Prop 8. 

“I do not support the Board’s appointment of @BrendanEich as CEO,” Kat Braybrooke, a curation and co-design lead at Mozilla, tweeted Thursday, posting a link to a Guardian article titled “How can Mozilla turn a blind eye to its CEO's support of Prop 8?”

Eich addressed the attacks himself on his own site last week, expressing "sorrow at having caused pain” and stating his commitment to make sure Mozilla is “a place that includes and supports everyone.”

Sources: CNN, The Verge, Wall Street Journal