Mozilla Firefox users who try to use popular dating service OKCupid are currently being shown the above message, encouraging them not to use Firefox. The reason? Mozilla's new CEO Brendan Eich opposes gay marriage. That's how you play hardball.
Here's the full text of the message, which is followed by links to Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. After reading the entire message, there's a link that allows you to proceed. So while it's not an all out blockade, it's still an impressive expression of political beliefs that could potentially alienate a lot of users. According to the Mozilla's metrics, the browser has a half-billion users worldwide.
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:
The issue at hand is that Mozilla's new CEO Eich donated $1000 in support of Proposition 8 in California. The 2008 ballot measure changed the legal definition of marriage in California to be a union between a man and a woman. It was ultimately approved because of a lot of dirty political advertising funded by people like Eich.
Opposition the the appointment has been rising since Eich's appointment on March 24th. Activist developers almost immediately started boycotting Firefox.
Over the weekend, Mozilla sought to distance itself from Eich's previous political activity, stating publicly that as a company, it supports marriage equality.
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. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally.
It appears that message has gone unheeded by OKCupid and that the company will oppose Mozilla so long as Eich is still at the helm. We say "appears" because this is a little weird. It's not unprecedented for startup services full of liberal employees to advocate on behalf of gay rights, but this is a bold step. We've reached out to OKCupid to makes sure that this is something they did on purpose and not some weird hack. It gives us a bit of pause that the link to Microsoft's download page reads "Internet Exploder"—not to mention the fact that a blockade like this would go forward when Mozilla has already publicly said it believes in marriage equality. We'll update if we learn more but for now it appears that OKCupid is taking a stand.
We still haven't heard from OK Cupid, but Mozilla sent me the following statement.
Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples. No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally. OK cupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts.
OKCupid responded to confirm that, yup, they're for real.