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OkCupid boycotts Firefox for possible 'browser' values: Can browser form values?

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OkCupid hung Firefox out to dry and they want their members to do the same. Firefox is boycotted by OkCupid who claim that Firefox's company hired a CEO who is a gay marriage opponent. The love site has asked that people not access their website using Firefox, according to MSN News on April 1.

This boycott attempt by the website was explained in a message from OkCupid:

"Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples," the message said. "We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."

OkCupid said that they felt that they needed to let the users of their website know that “this browser might be in conflict with their own values.” How did one man’s view and 'values' turn into the entire browsers” values?

Is a browser even capable of forming values? While it is sad for many that in today’s day and age there are still people out there who believe in marriage being an institution for a man and a woman only. But the CEO, Eich, is just one man with his individual point of view.

If he is an opponent of gay marriage, this hasn’t bled through onto anything that Firefox has to offer. Since the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation appointed Eich as their new CEO last week, public calls for his resignation have buzzed around the social networks. People have that right and this isn't a harmful way to go about it.

Eich apologized if his personal political views have caused any pain and he vows to uphold a “culture of equality” while at Mozilla. This includes healthcare benefits for same sex couples. Would a boycott really change a person's mind, or would it just work to get a person to say what the folks who started the boycott want to hear?

Wouldn’t you rather have the person explore their views and change them for real after meeting regular everyday people in same-sex marriages? Helping folks change their minds just by being who you are, this is much different than strong-arming a person into saying what you want to hear.

Mozilla was blindsided by OkCupid’s move on this boycott. They state that the website never reached out to them to discuss this move or explore the facts. Mozilla stated their position very sternly:

"No matter who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the same rights and to be treated equally."

The reason that Eich got the head spot is that he has been serving as interim CEO and the online giant was apprehensive to bring in an outsider to do the job.

Applying verbal force in the form of a boycott to a website, a store, a company or even a person to change their views is probably not the best way to actually change people’s views. When that bakery in Oregon made headlines back last summer because they refused to do business with a gay couple, many felt compelled to stop shopping there. That was understandable.

Not many would feel good about themselves supporting a store that refuses to do business with a gay couple or that would refuse to do business with any other group of folks because they were against their views or lifestyle. This is not the case at all with Foxfire. They are doing business with everyone, regardless of beliefs, values, lifestyle etc...

Both straight and gay people alike did not want to shop in a store that wasn’t treating everyone equal. That sent these folks a message, a well-deserved message. While Foxfire’s CEO has allegedly has a different view than folks would like him to have, it doesn’t mean that his views are the same as the company he works for. It also doesn’t mean that he will act on those views or changes things to support his own views at Firefox.

Foxfire never did anything to make gay people feel less wanted than the rest of society. This is just one man’s views and he will have to change them on his own. Strong arming him into doing this will do nothing to change the narrow minds out there.

Wouldn’t you want folks to really and truly believe that same-sex couples have every right that straight couples do? While strong arming someone who has a narrow mind, they may say they’ve changed their beliefs, but chances are their twisted views have gotten more ingrained because of the fight they are now up against.

If enough folks boycott Foxfire maybe they will get rid of the guy, this could be the train of thought behind the boycott. Is this really the way to actually change minds?

While it is disturbing that some people still only recognize a man and a woman as the only type of legitimate couple, it is equally disturbing to think that a boycott would organize against a company who hired a man who happens to differ with your views. These views have never interfered with the way Firefox does business. If it did, then that is a totally different story.

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