Public Relations, Public Affairs, Coffee and Wine


—Thoughts and scribbles.

Public Relations Problem: Mozilla

This is the message that OkCupid users saw earlier this week when they tried to use the website on Firefox, Mozilla‘s web browser. This comes after news sources found that the newly hired CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, had donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8, a California measure to ban same-sex marriage.

This becomes a major problem not just because of the political landscape around same-sex marriage now-a-days, but because Mozilla is more than a Silicon Valley company, it’s an activist organization:

Mozilla’s primary mission isn’t to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope of promoting “the development of the Internet as a public resource.” –NYTimes

Since Eich’s appointment to CEO, three board members have resigned, many current employees have publicly denounced Mr. Eich on social media, and Firefox is being publicly criticized. This looks like a PR crisis if I’ve ever seen one.

So what is Mozilla doing? Well, for starters, Brendan Eich resigned. Eich also wrote ablog post for the company, stating:

“I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status or religion. You will see exemplary behavior from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products.”

Aside from ousting the problem, Mozilla is just waiting out the storm.