The new McCarthyism

Stuff reports:, the popular online dating site, called for a boycott of Mozilla Firefox to protest the world’s Number 2 web browser naming a gay marriage opponent as chief executive.

OkCupid visitors who accessed the website through Firefox on Monday were told in a message to use other browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Google’s Chrome.

“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.”

“Especially in the kind of modern hero culture, the CEO is equivalent to the company,” said Christian Rudder, an OkCupid co-founder. “We have users who are trying to find other people and we wanted to point out that this browser might be in conflict with their own values.”

The non-profit Mozilla Foundation’s appointment of Eich as CEO on March 24 has attracted criticism from software developers, including its employees who have publicly called for Eich’s resignation on social media.

Eich, the inventor of the programming language Javascript and a Mozilla co-founder, donated US$1000 in 2008 in support of California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

I find this outrageous. Eich made a $1,000 donation to a cause he supported in 2008 (a cause around 40% of Americans agree with) and those with an opposing view basically say he should be blacklisted from employment.

I disagree with Eich on , but his views do not affect his ability to be CEO of Mozilla.  One can absolutely legitimately have a view against , but still be an excellent employer and CEO. Remember Barack Obama was against until 18 months ago – and Bill Clinton was also when he was President.

Turning that issue into a sort of litmus test of acceptability of employment is a new form of McCarthyism.

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