Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 19:40 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves.

We didn’t act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

The only sensible move.

Permalink for comment 586516
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

*Forced* to step down is bad enough.

That, of course, depends totally on the circumstances surrounding it. There are many ligit reasons for being forced to step down (chronically bad losses, for example).

The original point stands: freedom of speech isn't as free as we would like it to be if using it, even politely, means being forced out of your job.

I disagree with that. Again, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences (as you seem to somewhat grasp below). Freedom of speech isn't somehow freeer if there's no consequences attached. Freedom of speech != freedom from consequences. There are many, many ways over which one can lose their job. To state that that is always bad if it's somehow linked to speech is ludricous. What if I excercise my freedom of speech to insult my co-workers, creating a hostile atmosphere? What if I don't directly insult them, but publicly declare I disagree with them being equal for the law? Yes, there's lots of grey areas, but you seem to favour the "no consequences at all costs" reading.

If someone holds a view that is unpopular with some group, the threat of being *forced* out of one's job puts pressure on that person to restrain voicing their opinion.

Depending on what job the person holds. Again, as CTO no-one objected to Eich, but as CEO it's a different ballgame.

It is not beneficial to democracy to punish the polite use of free speech. Punishing the impolite use, I believe, has a place.

We're not talking about democracy. The corporate world is the exact opposite of a democracy, in many ways. Also, donating for a campaign against equality is not "polite". It is *never* polite if you say to someone else that you don't think they're equal to you, and do no deserve the same priviliges you have.

This whole freedom of speech with consequences argument rarely gets down to the bone of the matter. Of course there are consequences every time you open your mouth. There are consequences for everything you do, say, think, hear, etc. The root question is what consequences are fair and what are excessively punitive?

Because of the bad publicity Eich got, both from the public and from his employees, it was a sound business decision of Mozilla to ask him to step down (if that's what happened). Though I agree that consequences should be in line with the damage caused, in this case I think they are.

How about forcing someone out of their job? Isn't the loss of income as bad or worse? Yet it's perfectly legal action... I guess it's just "consequences".

It is not "just" consequences. It is the consequence of being a controversial CEO.

Lastly, there is the concept of politeness in freedom of speech. There is certainly a difference we all recognize, between someone who walks around screaming, at the top of their lungs, that gay marriage is the mark of the beast, and someone who politely expresses discomfort and concern around the issue, while noting that they feel that gay individuals should be treated respectfully and given every chance to make their own voices be heard.

There is, in that the former will probably be ignored by the public at large, and the latter won't. So the latter is *more* dangerous than the first. And I'm sorry, but saying politely that you think someone is less equal than you are is just as bad as screaming it from the top of your lungs. "You deserve to DIE!" is as bad as "All things considered, my personal view is that you should not have the right to live."

The threats and actions of OkCupid, blocking Firefox users, is not respectful at all. It's the equivalent of "vote for us or we'll slash your tires."

No, it's not. First, OkCupid did *not* block FF users. It asked FF users to use a different browser, since FF's CEO is someone against marriage equality, something they support wholehearedly. Secondly, even if they *were* to block FF (which they didn't), that's *not* the same as "slashing tires". They didn't threat to harm the FF user. You can frame language all you want, and use misguided examples all you want, but that doesn't make you right.

Reply Parent Score: 2