Mozilla – History of Scandals

Motivation

While every small incident gets criticized in Chrome, Brave and Edge, Mozilla simply seems to get away with pretty much everything they do. Given the fact that Mozilla wants to have high ethical standards and claims that they are a people-first Browser it is only fair to inspect them closely.

We need to differ here because there’s the legally-non-profit Mozilla Foundation and the legally-for-profit Mozilla Corporation, I mention it to avoid running into a mixture of interests, what is actually meant is usually explained within the provided links.

Links that Mozilla advocates often like to down-talk, hide or to if possible distract from it by smearing the ones who post actual evidence that there might be something wrong with Mozilla, this is nothing new and this all happened multiple times to multiple people who just tried to show what is or could be controversial.

Even the Wikipedia article regarding Mozilla and Firefox is far from objective nor accurate. That practical applies to almost every Wikipedia Browser article because people are highly based in defending their beloved Browser and they often end up arguing things down until it is removed from such pages, the Wikipedia edit history and discussion talk page proves me right.

But whatever, I like to keep an eye on Mozilla and provide an objective but fair overview of all past scandals, this basically mean I will update this article whenever there is something new to mention.

This little blog post here is not meant to bash Mozilla or to say everything they do is wrong, it is more like a small review of past incidents and questionable decisions coming directly from Mozilla or people involved into the development, marketing, scripting etc.

I like to add that we all do mistakes and Mozilla is absolute no exception in this regard, but I simply dislike the hypocrisy that gets wrongfully communicated to the outside world.

Definition of a scandal

Like most terms, this can be bent, with scandals we classify things under privacy invasive, against user will or impacts that affected the average but daily Firefox users. This does not include power users as well as users who have 20 Browsers installed and barely use Firefox as their main Browser, because they might not be impacted because Mozilla released quickly an update to address listed things.

I try to split this in specific categories. To make it easier to comprehend.

Fixed issues

Same like all or most scandals, all the mentioned stuff below might be already fixed and one of the main reason why you should always use the latest software versions.

There are more reasons and controversies but this is not substantial in this little blog post and therefore irrelevant, which means they do not even get listed in the first place.

Advertising

Bypassing Proxy System Settings

Certificates

DRM

Extension based Scandals

Firefox Focus

Killed by Mozilla

Mozilla and Censorship

Mozilla wants to intervene into Politics

Other scandals

Password Security

Pocket

PWA

Questionable CEO Decisions

Questionable Partnership

Search Engine

The Phoenix Project

Toxic Bias and Fanboyism

Trackers or strange connections

I might remove the section because opinions are very often based or respell and echo chamber other peoples findings.

Feedback on Mozilla Ethics

My conclusion

Cherry picking arguments and then claim Browser xyz is less secure, less private or entirely flawed will not work because you will find on every single Browser stuff to criticize or a history of invasive scandals. Mozilla is clearly no exception here, as proven.

Browsers should not be seen as a perfect role-model for the most perfect software, instead we should focus on how fast things are getting fixed because the next scandals and flaws will occur because nothing is perfect and never will be. People make mistakes, people sometimes have a bad day or they have different motivations.

In my experience extremist people often desperately trying to defend their beloved Browser because they want other people to convince to join them and their ideas, without any regard if that makes sense or not because the best Browser or software for that matter is pretty much pointless if you – for whatever reasons – do not like it or do not feel comfortable with it then putting pressure on the average user will do no good and he certainly will switch back to old habits. Some users use Vivaldi because it offers some UI improvements over vanilla Chromium, others entirely only care about the privacy aspects. Personally I do not think that makes an killer argument because Chrome, Brave, Firefox and all other bigger Browsers constantly evolve and adopt to new threats. I believe a good Browser is defined by its community and the developers interacting with it.

What is left, the direction.

The direction maybe plays the biggest role – to some people. Some do not want to support Google, some dislike scandals and try to use the Browser with only a few scandals, others maybe do not like the CEO, or have other reasons to prefer x over y.

Web itself is not perfect and this automatically means it is hard to find a specific direction, claiming to rescue, or safe the web or make it better is AFAIK a charitable idea but in the real-world far from possible. You need to find a mid-way and then think of people who just doing their job or people who just like what they do.

Focusing on scandals does not help anybody at all and we should focus on upcoming issues, fix them together and then point out how fast things got fixed to display that the community as well as the developers behind it care about such things.

I wanted to provide a clean overview about scandals we had and I think I did that very well, some things got fixed – some more faster than others.

Other things never got fixed and instead they simply got replaced.

Mozilla same like Google and everyone else does make mistakes and cherry picking every mistake will lead to no positive improvement for all of us. We, as community need to objectively and unbiased review historic events and try to make it better, as community, and set positive examples to others so that possible controversies are avoided in the first place, or so that people that are not entirely involved into tech can easily comprehend the good parts from the bad parts.

History is therefore important to reveal true motivations as well as learn from past – mistakes – to make it better and set higher standards for all of us.

Info and Feedback

The Firefox community can get very toxic defending their beloved Browser and the Mozilla Corporation. As always, this is a oversimplification and not everyone is like that. Keep that in mind.

Before you curse me, my soul or link this against my will into forum xyz please contact me first, so that I have a chance to address feedback BEFORE you put this on any other platform.


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