Over the past few days I’ve been closely following this story.
The Cliff’s Notes version is that the CEO of Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, donated to the asshats who wanted to ban gay marriage in California a few years ago. The news of this breaks, a bunch of people start to reject Firefox (including one of their biggest supporters), the CEO then resigns and the internet cheers.
This was important to me on many levels, not just because I support gay marriage but because I make websites. I had even started putting the code in place that would direct anyone using Firefox and visiting this site or the Masocast to a page explaining why they should switch browsers and would in fact prevent them from using the site until they did so from a different browser. This isn’t an original idea since a bunch of others had already started doing this very thing but I wanted to do my part. Thankfully that’s one less thing I have on my todo list now.
The interesting thing about the story is how some are now claiming it’s a loss for free speech. I disagree, we’re not saying he can’t be an asshole, we’re saying we’re not going to use a product, or in some cases allow the product to be used on our websites, if the CEO of that product is an asshole when it comes to some very basic human rights issues that you’d have to be an asshole not to support.
But that’s not the only story about equality, companies and assholes this week. Here’s another that makes me want to go buy a ton of graham crackers.
I was so excited to hear he finally resigned. Despite the tech communities flaws, sometimes we do manage to get our shit together and stand up for what’s right.
The whining about free speech is just incredibly boring, though. Not only is no one saying that bigoted assholes don’t have the right to be bigoted assholes, but freedom of speech does not and has never meant freedom from the natural consequences of being a bigoted asshole. If you behave like a complete douchecanoe, people might not want to associate with you or any of your projects. Who could’ve seen that coming ?!
I’m stealing “douchecanoe”.
i just saw that today and cheered.
Thanks for posting it here for more people to see it.
Would it interest you to know that at the time that he made the totally legal $1000 Pro Prop 8 contribution Barack Obama was publicly opposed to gay marriage and campaigned on that position? (Just to put it in context the the majority of the California electorate voted for it – it passed.)
Are you not the least bit troubled by the idea that anyone can get fired for holding and promoting a political view? Any political view? He was fired not for a discriminatory action, not for any misbehavior or inaction at work that was discrimination or permitted discrimination, but for privately making a campaign contribution supporting his own personal belief. (Right or wrong.)
Do you think it acceptable if a CEO were fired for contributing to a campaign that opposes new Sex Trafficking Legislation? One that makes purchasing sex illegal, but “protects” sellers of sex?
This blatant assault on free speech is one of the most frightening things I have seen in years. This is a public professional lynching. The next free speech firing could be a podcaster. How would you feel then?
The First Amendment is Hard sometimes, but the alternative is intolerable.
By the way, while Obama was opposed to Gay Marriage I supported it. I still do. But without FREE SPEECH and the right to support unpopular views, hopefully without fear of losing your job. Admittedly the Bill of Rights can only make sure unpopular thought and speech is not a crime – it does not mean the speaker may not have to pay a price “… our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor”. Without free speech, even unpopular speech, our Democracy is a lost cause. It really is 1984. Allowing only “Right Thought” is Tyranny even when you know that the thought is “Right.”
By the way, while Obama was opposed to Gay Marriage I supported it. I still do. But without FREE SPEECH and the right to support unpopular views, hopefully without fear of losing your job we are lost. Admittedly the Bill of Rights can only make sure unpopular thought and speech is not a crime – it does not mean the speaker may not have to pay a price “… our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor”. Without free speech, even unpopular speech, our Democracy is a lost cause. It really is 1984. Allowing only “Right Thought” is Tyranny even when you know that the thought is “Right.”