45 comments

  • Zach ⑊, over 5 years ago

    This is really a shame. A guy gets completely torn apart because of contributing an extremely inconsequential amount of money years ago to something he personally believed in.

    People want to make this about equality and free speech, but then want to destroy someone who happens to hold different views. That is completely hypocritical.

    I'm extremely disappointed in anyone who called for his removal, or thinks this is an actual win for equality/freedom of speech. I am glad, however, that he stepped down as now he will (hopefully) no longer be made a target because of his opinions.

    We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public.

    But please, only publicly share your views if they happen to conform to the accepted standards.

    25 points
    • Jake ChapmanJake Chapman, over 5 years ago

      ^ +100xp for you good sir. Completely agree!

      5 points
    • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

      A person who makes a public donation—in an amount greater than some people make in a month—to a cause that treats a minority group as less than human is not fit to run a company. He is entitled to his opinion but in making it public he must be prepared to face the consequences.

      Good riddance.

      (Furthermore, same-sex marriage is currently allowed in only sixteen states—is that what passes for an "accepted standard"?)

      17 points
      • Luke ChesserLuke Chesser, over 5 years ago

        I'm not sure I agree. If we reverse the situation and heard that a pro gay marriage CEO was asked to step down because of the things that they believe, we would all be outraged. I'm completely pro gay marriage myself, but I think as wrong as Brendan is, he's entitled to his opinion. Whether or not employees should work for him at Mozilla is another issue, as I myself wouldn't feel comfortable with that.

        7 points
        • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

          We'd be outraged, but our outrage would be consistent because in both cases we're outraged by the marginalization of gay people. And again, Brendan is entitled to his opinion, but he's not entitled to hold it without consequence, especially when he publicly uses his wealth to try to legislate his opinion.

          7 points
          • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 5 years ago

            first, a single $1,000 donation doesn't really constitute as "using his wealth to try to legislate." the man was making over $400k/yr in salary as Mozilla's CTO . this donation was pocket change to him.

            second, Eich has never spoken out against gay people, even while defending the donation.

            third, and most importantly, he has steadfastly asserted that he and Mozilla will continue encourage inclusiveness and equality within the company; not allowing his personal beliefs to affect his professional role.

            the reason people are defending him is that, from all accounts, he's been true to his word.

            3 points
            • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

              Making a $1000 donation to Proposition 8 is absolutely tantamount to speaking out against gay people, and it is absolutely a use of wealth to try to legislate an opinion in the most literal sense. You're delusional if you believe otherwise.

              Brandon Eich is a bigot who does not believe in the equality of all people. Why on earth are you defending him?

              6 points
              • Jake Lazaroff, over 5 years ago

                Because as baffling as that viewpoint may be, I don't think it defines his worth as a person, any more than any one of us would want our entire person to be written off because of one aspect; and because his views on same sex marriage have nothing to do with his work at Mozilla; and because "although I disapprove of what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it."

                2 points
                • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                  I'd rather defend to the death the dignity of all people than the opinion of some rich bigot.

                  3 points
                  • Jake Lazaroff, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

                    No one is defending his opinion. It is a bigoted opinion. But he is not using Mozilla as a platform to promote it.

                    I understand why you oppose him, but I don't think the way to fight intolerance is with more intolerance.

                    4 points
                    • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                      We should have been more tolerant of those Germans back in World War 2, huh?

                      0 points
                      • Jake Lazaroff, over 5 years ago

                        No, that's a straw man. In his endeavors to deprive gay Americans of their right to marry we should absolutely oppose him, and publicly so. However, I don't think those endeavors should define the way we interact with him on all other issues. His position as CEO of Mozilla has nothing to do with gay rights, so—as long as that view doesn't inform his work—I don't think it's appropriate to hold it against him.

                        I'm Jewish, and I have friends and family who were affected by the Holocaust, so I do sympathize with your example. But I just can't bring myself to believe that a small subset of one's actions or beliefs define one as a person. I vehemently disagree with them, but I don't want anyone ostracized because of it.

                        And lastly, I realize this is a very emotional issue, but many people who oppose his resignation (including myself) do support LGBTQ rights. We have the same end goal, you and me—we just see different ways of getting there :)

                        0 points
                  • Raffaello SanzioRaffaello Sanzio, over 5 years ago

                    Dignity (noun): the quality of being worthy of honor or respect

                    In that case, you should treat Mr. Eich with all respect, even if you disagree with him. Even if you think he didn't treat you (or people close to you) with respect.

                    Let's be gentlemen.

                    3 points
              • Jared ScheelJared Scheel, over 5 years ago

                You keep using the word bigot. Other than your interpretation of his donation to Prop 8, can you point to one single example of bigoted behavior? People supported Prop 8 for a variety of reasons, not just because they "hate the gays". Were some of the donors bigots? I don't doubt it. But, you are unfairly speaking for Brendan Eich when you interpret his donation as being nothing more than a bigoted action, without actually knowing his reasoning. In fact, he's been quite silent on the issue, even though his own company supports speaking out in public on such matters. The world is not as black and white as you see it. I understand that you feel strongly about this, but it seems like you are getting angry and deriding others on your own platform, which is sad, given that the instructions are "be nice, or else".

                3 points
                • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                  In your estimation, what are the reasons for financially supporting legislation that denies the civil rights of a particular group, if those reasons are not fundamentally motivated by intolerance?

                  True, the world, in general, is not black and white, but this matter is—either you favor complete equality or you don't. And yes, it makes me profoundly angry to see so many of you coming out in defense of someone who so obviously and publicly doesn't.

                  2 points
                  • Jared ScheelJared Scheel, over 5 years ago

                    Again, you continue to put words in his mouth. He has never "so obviously and publicly" come out against equality. Support for Prop 8 comes from several different fronts, several of which are rooted in traditional governing stances on marriage, such as the role of population building and sustainability, etc, and not on a hatred for other people. I'm not saying their stance it right, I'm just saying that you, and others, have painted a very black and white picture when there are, in fact, several shades of gray. If you think otherwise, then I would suggest you go back and look at President Obama's remarks and evolving views on the subject.

                    2 points
                    • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                      Donating to Prop 8 is coming out against equality. There is no way to interpret the action otherwise, as Prop 8 literally seeks to deny rights to a particular group of people.

                      "Traditional governing stances on marriage, such as the role of population building and sustainability" sounds to me like a dogwhistle for homophobia. I mean, population building, really? Gay marriage is not a threat to population growth.

                      Not sure about your Obama non sequitur. I'm not even close to being an Obama supporter.

                      1 point
                  • Zach ⑊, over 5 years ago

                    Other than your interpretation of his donation to Prop 8, can you point to one single example of bigoted behavior?

                    You didn't answer his question.

                    0 points
                    • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                      He was moving the goalposts by asking it.

                      1 point
                      • Zach ⑊, over 5 years ago

                        No he's not. All he's asking is for you to provide additional solid facts to validate your position.

                        Either you can or you can't.

                        0 points
                        • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                          My position is that Brendan Eich is anti-equality and seeks to deprive a group of people of their civil rights. His donation to Prop 8 establishes this unequivocally. I need not provide any further evidence to validate this position.

                          1 point
                          • Jared ScheelJared Scheel, over 5 years ago

                            My problem is with your poor interpretation of what is donation to Prop 8 means. You have decided that it means he is bigoted and doesn't believe in equal rights. Just because you say so doesn't make it true. Sticking to your own narrow interpretation of a very complex subject gives you the freedom to make poor assertions that you parade as fact. Need I again point to our own president's swaying on the issue? It's not as simple of an issue as you believe it to be.

                            0 points
                        • Todd BurtonTodd Burton, over 5 years ago

                          One time is enough.

                          If someone has one act of sexism, they are sexist. If someone supports one cause that goes against equal rights for gays, they are a bigot. It's pretty cut and dry. He doesn't need to provide 'more instances'. One time is one too many times.

                          0 points
              • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 5 years ago

                You do realize that while he is no longer the CEO of Mozilla he is still a co-founder. And I'm sure he still will make decisions on behalf of the company, just not in the public eye.

                As mentioned by others, I'm all for whatever personal beliefs a person has. To each is own. But to assume that his only power comes by being a CEO is a bit dumbfounded if you ask me.

                Granted, by no means am I saying your'e dumb, Rob. And I mean that wholeheartedly. But people seem to forget that he's been at Mozilla since the beginning and it hasn't done anything wrong, so what leads people to believe that under his public 'control' it'll all of a sudden turn into a anti-gay organization?

                Chik-Fil-A isn't anti-gay and their CEO outwardly expresses his disinterest for same-sex marriages and relationships.

                1 point
        • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, over 5 years ago

          How about a different hypothetical. He donates $1,000 to the Klan. Or a PAC that supports disenfranchising _______________ (social/racial/socioeconomic group). We would be disgusted by that, and when we (and his employees) called for his resignation, no one worth listening to would say that his opinion was being unfairly suppressed.

          The difference here is that saying people shouldn’t have _______ (civil right) based on their race/gender/age/socioeconomic status is a universally recognized form of discrimination. It’s overt and publicly shamed all the time. Wrapping up homophobia in the shielding garments of religion or personal belief hasn’t passed that “threshold of unacceptability” that other forms of discrimination have. And it is far less overt in its offensiveness.

          2 points
    • Cade D, over 5 years ago

      I don't understand how hard this is for so many people to grasp.

      As a CEO, you are a leader a public figure. Of course your opinions and beliefs are scrutinised - you are one of the rare few who gets to inject a large part of your personality into your company's culture. This happens in both directly and subconsciously. Furthermore, the support for equal rights for GLBT citizens will be historically compared to other struggles for social progression. You say its a 'shame' that someone donating to a specific cause, but this sort of thing should happen all the time. If you financed an anti-civil rights campaign in the 1950s, shouldn't that kind of thing come back to haunt you – especially if it were obvious you still hold those beliefs?

      Finally, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech and freedom of thought are protections against government abuse, not other members of the public.

      But please, only publicly share your views if they happen to conform to the accepted standards.

      Yeah, nah, fighting back against bigotry and discrimination isn't censorship. Not even close. This is a win for equality. It is an example of the web community collectively rejecting a person who willingly participated in pushing policy that legalised discrimination against GBLTI minorities.

      14 points
      • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

        yep, freedom of speech holds no weight in the court of public opinion.

        but can you tell me when he, as CEO (or in any role at Mozilla), enacted discriminatory changes or made hateful remarks or acted unprofessionally due to his personal views? i must have missed that part.

        1 point
        • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

          Don't be snide. His very appointment as CEO is an affront to Mozilla's LGBT employees and to everyone who acknowledges their civil rights.

          7 points
          • Zach ⑊, over 5 years ago

            I feel like that's sensationalizing the issue a bit. Why not let his professional history speak for itself? Why let his personal political history dictate the public opinion of him and what he can do for the company as a business and technical leader? This isn't politics.

            I get as CEO of a large company, his beliefs and opinions can be scrutinized. But this to me is more an example of an internet lynch mob than anything else: digging up obscure personal history that his professional history already proves has no bearing on his public role.

            People seem to forget that the person they want to call a bigot is the same person that co-founded Mozilla in the first place. As a co-founder (and CTO), he's already had an impact on Mozilla, and is undoubtedly one of the main people who have shaped what Mozilla is and stands for today.

            To that end, I think he made the mature decision to step down; which if anything proves what a good CEO he could have been. He put the company's needs above his own ambitions and truly acknowledged that Mozilla's values where too important to be discredited by his own. Which is exactly what everyone wanted him to do in the first place.

            2 points
            • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

              His "personal political history" is public. He made a large donation—not anonymously, as he could have chosen to do—but in his own name. That's why it dictates his suitability as the public face of a company that claims inclusiveness as one of its aims. Whether or not he co-founded the company, his public actions, backed by his considerable wealth, are at odds with this.

              Also, please take a moment to consider where the phrase "lynch mob" comes from and whether it appropriately describes the response to a rich white executive who acts public against the interest of civil rights and social justice.

              0 points
              • Zach ⑊, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

                but in his own name.

                Exactly. He made the donation as an individual not as Mozilla the company. Would you rather him do it anonymously? Censor his personal beliefs, just to prevent stigmatism? How would you feel if someone asked you to do that?

                If the problem is him doing it "publicly" vs "anonymously" then you're basically denying him his right to freedom of speech. If the problem is him donating at all, then you are ostracizing him because of a cause he supports. It's the exact same as someone being stigmatized for having donated in support of Prop 8 (or another similar cause).

                I feel like if this is looked at from a rational standpoint, his contributions to the internet, technology, etc far surpass those of most people, and outweigh the implications of his donation. There a lot of LGBT people who make a good living working for an open, inclusive company he helped start, and many more who make a living using his technology.

                I don't think there's anything "appropriate" about any kind of response that jumps to conclusions before objectively studying facts; that jumps to justice before allowing a real case to be made.

                1 point
                • Rob GrantRob Grant, over 5 years ago

                  This doesn't have anything to do with censorship or freedom of speech. Those terms apply to the abridgement of speech by the government, not to criticism from other public individuals.

                  And yes, I would ostracize him for donating at all, even in spite of his contributions, because social justice is more important than technology. We can make the same advancements and those LGBT people can make a good living without people like Brendan Eich.

                  2 points
          • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

            His very appointment as CEO is an affront to Mozilla's LGBT employees

            fine, then fire the board that appointed him. all Eich to start the firestorm did was get a promotion.

            1 point
        • Cade D, over 5 years ago

          Yeah, as the CTO he directly affected and discriminated against his users and employees by contributing to Proposition 8. That's the whole point.

          2 points
    • Moiz K. MalikMoiz K. Malik, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      Eich would rather that no one be able to enter into a gay marriage as the result of his belief (presumably based on his religious beliefs).

      That is not simply "sharing your views." That is imposing your views on others.

      2 points
  • Raffaello SanzioRaffaello Sanzio, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    It seems like Brendan found himself in an infinite loop because of his values: No matter how many statements he made, people would always consider him a false object. So, I think it was logical to break the execution of his function as a CEO due to all these conditions. Let's now see all the arrays of comments people will make because of this.

    8 points
  • Ryan LeFevreRyan LeFevre, over 5 years ago

    can everyone just lay off eich? under all this pressure he might invent something mediocre that we'll have to use forever

    https://twitter.com/alandipert/status/451009228791369728

    5 points
  • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, over 5 years ago

    Freedom of speech does not mean that speech is free from consequences. Social media definitely amplifies this.

    5 points
    • Troy RobinsonTroy Robinson, over 5 years ago

      The important discussion here is not whether or not consequences resulted from Eich's speech, but rather about the justness of those reactions.

      0 points
  • Falko JosephFalko Joseph, over 5 years ago

    Freedom of speech to limit someone else's freedom... People should stop using that as an excuse to justify discrimination.

    2 points
    • Troy RobinsonTroy Robinson, over 5 years ago

      This debate about the justness of Eich's separation from Mozilla really boils down to whether people believe sex/gender identity is based on a foundation of genetics and reinforced by societal norms, or if individuals hold that sex/gender is rooted in the conventions of society and only backed up by biological faculties. Does man define himself or was he predefined? In the light of the one, Eich looks like a rational person for supporting a traditional, nature-inspired view of marriage, in the context of the other, Eich appears to be a monster for supporting a view of marriage that excludes access for a people-group.

      0 points
  • Henrique Alves, over 5 years ago

    I don't agree. The result of this is too bad:

    1) It's a dangerous trend when we start judging companies or CEOs by their political views

    2) It will affect free speech

    2 points