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Mozilla steps up damage control as pressure for CEO Eich's ouster mounts

Gregg Keizer | April 2, 2014
Petition calling for Brendan Eich to renounce past support for same-sex marriage ban nears 70K signatures.

Some of that damage came in the form of a petition launched over the weekend by Credo Action, an online network of progressive activists. The online petition, which demanded Eich expressly support marriage equality — or failing that, resign or be fired by Mozilla's board — had collected more than 68,000 signatures by late Monday.

"Sixty-five thousand is definitely a strong response for a campaign sent on a Sunday afternoon," said Becky Bond, Credo Action's political director, in an email reply to questions earlier Monday when the signature total was several thousand less than near the day's end.

In a statement late Monday, a Mozilla spokesperson said, "We are sorry that Credo was unable to accept Mozilla's formal support of marriage equality" and Eich's previously-stated commitments to ensure equality at Mozilla and uphold the company's policies. Mozilla's statement did not, as Credo Action's petition requested, include Eich's personal promise to support equal rights to marriage for all.

Elsewhere, OkCupid.com became the first website to encourage a boycott of Firefox. Members of the dating service running Firefox now see an interstitial message that states, "Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."

Users can continue to the website with Firefox, but only after seeing the message and links to alternative browsers, including Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. In what may have been a Freudian slip, OkCupid labeled Microsoft's browser as "Internet Exploder."

"OkCupid never reached out to us to let us know of their intentions, nor to confirm facts," the same Mozilla spokesperson said Monday evening of the site's boycott.

 

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