In protest of new Mozilla CEO, OKCupid tells its users not to use Firefox

OKCupid, the dating site, has posted a message to users who visit the site using Mozilla’s Firefox browser: Change browsers.

As we reported, new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8. campaign, the 2008 ballot initiative that changed California’s constitution to define marriage as being between a man and woman. Although now defunct, Prop. 8 stopped gay marriage in California for a number of years.

Mozilla employees have taken to blogs and Twitter to talk about reconciling two important values, free speech and equal rights, which I wrote about. It’s a discussion that is impressively out in the open but no doubt unnerving for those who work at Mozilla.

Now with the popular dating site taking a position, the question will be if more will follow. And losing ground matters to Firefox. According to the Wall Street Journal, Firefox is the No. 2 browser on the Web with 18 percent share, ahead of Google’s Chrome with 17 percent share. Microsoft’s Internet Explore has 58 percent of the market. In mobile, Firefox falls to the 13th most popular browser.

As the New York-based dating site acknowledges, it is unusual for the business world to step into the political one so directly. But the company said it decided to do so because its business is about bringing people together:

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.

UPDATE: A Mozilla spokesperson released this statement Monday afternoon: “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.”


Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (211 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.