Yes, Mozilla’s recently-appointed CEO Brendan Eich is gone, following an uproar over his $1000 donation in support of California’s anti-SSM Proposition 8.
And while there will inevitably be hand-wringing about the PC thought police and liberals are the real hate-crimers and blah-de-blah, the reality is that this is how it’s supposed to work if you’re a free-market-fixes-all-ills zealot. The guy wasn’t charged with anything, he wasn’t accused of any crimes; he faced no government censorship. Enough consumers made it clear that they weren’t comfortable with the company’s leadership that internal voices convinced him to resign, and that was that.
A win for capitalism! Hoorah, or something!
Here’s the thing, though: despite the best efforts of individual people, many of them from within Mozilla, to get the word out about Eich’s donation, it was the popular website OKCupid’s decision to publicize the issue that made headlines. Until they threw their massive web presence behind it, there was nowhere near enough threat to Mozilla’s operations for them to care who or what Eich had donated to.
So if you’re glad to see a company being held accountable for its CEO’s bigotry, thank a major private corporation today! (OKCupid is owned by InterActive Corp, which also owns Match.com, and which promptly removed all of OKC’s prior writings criticizing fee-charging dating sites like Match.com from the OKC website after the acquisition, giving you a pretty good idea of how dedicated to transparency that corporate culture is.)
I’m not sorry to see Eich go, but I’m not sure it’s much of a victory for civil rights when everything is so dependent on a wealthy, influential corporation’s willingness to lend their might to progressive causes.
Ah well. I suppose in this case it’s the only way it was going to go down. What were all us end-users gonna do, boycott the browser we weren’t paying to use anyway?