Letter: Boycott of Firefox not okay, OKCupid

This week the popular dating website OkCupid announced that they blocked their users from accessing the site if they used the browser Firefox. This action was taken because it was discovered that the Mozilla CEO donated money to the anti-gay Prop 8 campaign. While I understand the outrage that this has caused I find the boycott to be utterly sophomoric and unnecessary.

As a Black gay man I understand that the fight for civil rights for the LGBT community continues, but a larger question hasn’t been asked. So let me ask it. Is it okay to boycott a company because one of its employees, as a private citizen, donates to a cause you disagree with? Mind you at the time he gave the donation he wasn’t the CEO. I’m not saying what he did was right or wrong but rather asking a larger question. Did he as the current CEO fire any out LGBT employee or encourage their harassment in the workplace? Did Mozilla or Firefox intently fire a LGBT employee or encourage that they be harassed or passed over for any promotions because of their sexual orientation?

While I continue to fight for marriage equality and other civil rights for my fellow LGBT community this boycott is meritless and a waste of time. Many people may disagree with me, but I’m going to elaborate.

The way OkCupid went about their boycott was to block access for Firefox users. As opposed to informing and letting the user decide to continue using that browser, OkCupid got that liberty away. How can you with one breathe say you believe in equality but then take away your users freedom to use a browser of their choice? In addition in their letter OkCupid said that they wish them nothing but failure. That is a powerful yet mean statement. Now is NOT the time to be as vile as our opponents are to us. When we adopt their actions as our own it is enforcing what they have done and are doing to us. If anything, now is the time to adopt a stance where we hold up a mirror and let the opponents see themselves for who they are. How is wishing that someone fails any different for them wishing our chances for marriage equality fails?

Now is the time to hold up our hands and fight back in a way that shows we have earned marriage equality. That we have earned the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness where city, state and federal laws aren’t discriminatory. Telling people that the new CEO donated money to fight against your right to marry is one thing, but to wish him and the company (which has LGBT employees) failure is not the appropriate move.

So while I understand that OkCupid is upset by the donation of a private citizen before he became the CEO of a company this is a boycott that I won’t be supporting.

Jamal Keith

What do you think?

There are 8 comments

  1. raynjuls

    Not to be hyperbolic, but this is nothing short of progressive McCarthyism/Facism. Individuals acting as private citizens have the right to support candidates and causes as they deem appropriate. If OkCupid disagrees, they can give money to those causes they support. As if I needed another reason, I will cease using Mozilla, and will personally contact EVERY advertiser on OkCupid to express my distain for their heavy-handed, facist tactics

  2. Marie

    This is sick! A man loses his job because of something he did years ago that is not “politically correct” nowadays. What is this country coming to? It’s going down the drain, thats for sure. Who is okcupid? Now we have to live life by their standards?
    The internet used to be fun. Now it’s just a place where everyone gets judged and ridiculed for their opinions and thoughts. We keep letting it happen! I’m ashamed!!

  3. Sam

    I tend to agree. Companies like Verizon and AT&T voted against our right for net neutrality, I’m surprised no one created an upheaval on those grounds. By OKCupid’s logic, they should write up a note for these guys, and force their CEO to quit. I don’t think OKCupid really cares a damn about prop 8, I think they used this as a marketing campaign to increase their user base.

  4. Don

    So using the logic of okcupid, anyone that believes that marriage is between a man and a woman (about half the country) should boycott okcupid.

    Boycotts are used by cowards that can’t win an argument. Free speech!

  5. Lestat

    Firefox should be blocked anyway. These days Mozilla rips only from the competition. And to top it, they hired a gay disliking CEO.

    The only Mozilla Gecko based browsers which are acceptable these days are Seamonkey, Cyberfox or Pale Moon.

    But the official Mozilla product… as long as Mozilla does whatever they can to anger their users on purpose with the goal of making the competition stronger (Chrome) Firefox should be boycotted. Nothing more to be said to that topic!

  6. Mark Cato

    OKCupid put a banner on their site for Firefox users – they didn’t block access. You can still click through to go to OKCupid on Firefox, but you do see the banner encouraging you to boycott. So it’s not ‘blocked’ – the entire premise of this letter is wrong.

  7. Daniel

    Credit to the author of this article. Talk about irrational responses (possibly to try to get a bit of free publicity).
    Firstly what right do OkCupid have to judge an individual on their opinion? If one of their users supported Prop 8 would they have the right to ban them from their site? A person’s opinion is their own and if they choose to support causes that align with their beliefs and support them how is that an unpardonable crime (unless of course their opinion is different to yours)?
    How would this be any different from a LGBT person making a donation to support their cause. Would we name and shame them, alienate them, try to put their business down? No because society would see this as a horrendous grievance against that person’s beliefs that would be discriminatory and wrong.
    As I understand from the authors remarks, how is it OK to make a martyr of a devout person of belief that are personal and shouldn’t reflect on their business and yet if they were LGBT it would be a crime against a person’s liberty?
    I’m not LGBT, but I do support LGBT equality. I do think that sometimes equality is a term that can be hijacked by individuals to mean ‘my way’ which doesn’t make it right or fair. Just because it is the loudest voice doesn’t mean it is the one we should pay attention to.
    It’s refreshing to see that LGBT is more and more often associated with reasonable people with fair and open opinions rather than angry people with very narrow agendas.

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