Author Topic: Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing  (Read 193 times)

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Offline Oceander

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Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing
« on: April 04, 2014, 09:49:54 AM »
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Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing
Nick Gillespie @nickgillespie  April 3, 2014

Now, apparently, we’re boycotting free products and demanding companies dance to the tune called by socially conscious customers.

Just days after being named the new head of web-browser maker Mozilla, Brendan Eich has stepped down after being outed as an opponent of gay marriage. On Tuesday, dating site OK Cupid urged its members who use Mozilla Firefox to “consider using different software for accessing OK Cupid.” It turns out that Eich had given money to California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State (last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Prop. 8 invalid and same-sex unions are once again legal in California).

Welcome to the brave new world of socially conscious… web-browsing. In the past, consumers might patronize certain businesses (Whole Foods, say, or Ben & Jerry’s) whose stated missions extended beyond increasing shareholder value and avoided others that might have politically objectionable CEOs or reputations for being anti-abortion (Domino’s Pizza, say) or public positions opposed to certain forms of birth control (Hobby Lobby, for instance). Now we’re boycotting free products such as Firefox and demanding companies dance to the tune called by customers. I think that’s a good thing overall — but it may end up being just as difficult for consumers to live with as it will be for corporations.

Whether you care about gay marriage or politically correct web experiences, Eich’s resignation shows how businesses respond to market signals. “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech,” writes Mitchell Baker, the organization’s executive chairwoman, in announcing Eich’s stepping down. “And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

Just as the Internet has empowered consumers to find cheaper prices, more-extensive reviews, and a wider variety of goods than ever before, it’s also made it easier for them to call out companies for all sorts of dastardly actions, screw-ups, and problems. I like that OKCupid’s intervention wasn’t a call for government action to limit people’s choices or ban something. Indeed, OKCupid didn’t even block Firefox users from its site — rather, it politely asked them to consider getting to the site via a different browser.

But this sort of action complicates the simple act of shopping for both traditional conservatives and liberals in ways that are not yet fully clear. Conservatives should like the fact that this was done without calling for government action, even if they aren’t fans of gay marriage. For liberals, they surely like the outcome — a corporation pledges itself to supporting marriage equality — even as they will have to rethink the idea that corporations or businesses don’t have “personhood” or can’t take stances on issues (as liberals like to claim when it comes to campaign-finance questions). In fact, we ascribe intention to businesses all the time, based on their practices and leadership.


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Offline Oceander

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Re: Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 09:52:20 AM »
I would strongly urge everyone who cares about the rights of private individuals to have their say to stop using Firefox - the browser put out by Mozilla - and switch to another.  There are (at least) four other major browsers out there:  Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera and Safari.  Any one of those is preferable to Firefox.

I made the switch to Chrome last night and I have to say it was a seamless transfer; all of my bookmarks, saved passwords, history, etc, transferred over without a problem.  Heck, the standard interface even looks nicer than that of Firefox.

Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 10:33:37 PM »
If one wishes to browse without fear of political correctness, one should take a look at the new "Epic Privacy Browser", which is free to download and use.

It uses the Chrome engine, but with ALL the google stuff stripped out.

It's purposely designed to protect the user's privacy, disable trackers, etc.

But it goes ALL these other browsers one step further -- it will also "cloak" your IP address with the click of an icon, so that the contacts you make with web sites cannot be tracked back to you.

Epic is freely downloadable here:
https://www.epicbrowser.com

(disclaimer: I have no financial or intellectual interest in Epic -- just making its presence known if you choose to check it out..)

Offline Oceander

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Re: Welcome to the Era of Politically Correct Web Browsing
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 11:23:39 PM »
If one wishes to browse without fear of political correctness, one should take a look at the new "Epic Privacy Browser", which is free to download and use.

It uses the Chrome engine, but with ALL the google stuff stripped out.

It's purposely designed to protect the user's privacy, disable trackers, etc.

But it goes ALL these other browsers one step further -- it will also "cloak" your IP address with the click of an icon, so that the contacts you make with web sites cannot be tracked back to you.

Epic is freely downloadable here:
https://www.epicbrowser.com

(disclaimer: I have no financial or intellectual interest in Epic -- just making its presence known if you choose to check it out..)

Cool!

Thanks for bringing it to our attention - so long as it's a good product I don't care if you have a financial interest or not!  :beer:


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