If your politics are anything but far-left, The Mozilla Foundation, creators of the FireFox web browser and the Thunderbird email client, despise you and everything you say.
Removing you from social media platforms is not enough. They want to utterly destroy your online presence so nobody will ever hear your WrongSpeak again.
This week we saw the culmination of a four-year disinformation campaign orchestrated by the President. We have to acknowledge how the internet was misused to get here.
And we have to change it.https://t.co/gIVZHQPYT4
— Mozilla (@mozilla) January 8, 2021
Replace “by” with “about” and Mozilla’s statement is transformed from partisan political nonsense into an actual fact.
Mozilla Foundation CEO Mitchell Baker’s post titled “We need more than deplatforming” on the official Mozilla blog spelled out what that their Twitter post meant.
Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last. We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done.
Changing these dangerous dynamics requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.
Additional precise and specific actions must also be taken:
- Reveal who is paying for advertisements, how much they are paying and who is being targeted.
- Commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.
- Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.
We’ve already seen what “factual voices” look like to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google.
Facts do not include documented truths about the Biden family or COVID-19 but “facts” do include the wildest accusations of anyone on the right, including the sitting President of the United States.
Corporate America believes they, and only they, must be the arbiters of who is permitted to speak.
Follow the Money
Google is Firefox’s default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“Google pays Mozilla for it to be the default search engine on Firefox, and the money accounts for the vast majority of Mozilla’s revenue,” says Bloomberg Businessweek.
In it’s State of Mozilla 2018 report, the foundation said it “generated $435.702 million from royalties, subscriptions and advertising revenue.”
When you follow the money it’s obvious why Mozilla opposes the US government’s anti-trust lawsuit against Google and sides with Google/YouTube on silencing voices with whom they disagree.
Their financial life depends upon it.
Remove Mozilla Products From Your Computer
So… if the Mozilla Foundation wants to stand with censorship; if the Mozilla foundation wants to deplatform those they disagree with politically, they can do it without me or the money generated by my use of their software.
I encourage you to do as I am, and remove their products from your computer immediately.
As of last night, Firefox was removed from my computer and replaced with Brave, a new entrant into the privacy browser market.
Brave is not the only privacy-focused web browser on the market, of course. Here are a few others I’ve tested recently:
By the end of day today, Thunderbird will be removed from my system too, but I’m still testing replacements for it.
Current contenders are:
- Em Client (great if you only use two email addresses, excellent import from Thunderbird feature)
- Zimbra Desktop
I’ll update this commentary once I make a final determination on which email client replacement best meets my requirements.
(Yes, dumping the entire Windows platform in favour of Linux is in my future.)
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: Freedom of Speech is the gift I must give to my enemy BEFORE I can claim it for myself.
Free Speech must be defended in the face of voices with which I disagree, not hacked to death because I can’t stand what someone else says, or worse, how they choose to say it.
Am I naïve enough to believe my actions will change the minds of the free-speech-despising fools at Mozilla Foundation?
Nope. Not for a second.
But I refuse to be a party to their nonsense in any way, shape or form and that includes helping them take more of Google’s money.
Will changing my default browser and email client be a pain in the behind?
Oh, you bet it will, but the price of living by principles has never been without cost – a fact of life I embraced decades ago.