New Form of Cause Marketing: OKCupid Encourages Customers to Drop Mozilla

Jennifer Jones
Jennifer Jones Partner, Anderson Jones PR

Posted on April 2nd 2014

New Form of Cause Marketing: OKCupid Encourages Customers to Drop Mozilla

The internet has given rise to many forms of protests over the years. From petitions and calls to boycott shared through social media to weaponized hashtags, a phrase beautifully coined by The Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Yang when reporting on the so-called #CancelColbert controversy, the interwebs seem to have been made for shared outrage.

But, today, I came across a form of protest that was new to me in that one company was encouraging its customers to protest another company.

When accessing the dating site OKCupid through Firefox, customers are now greeted with with a message calling out Mozilla (Firefox) CEO Brendan Eich for his support of California’s Proposition 8, highlighted by a $1000 donation made in 2008.

“Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” the message tells users. “We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.”

Last week, one of Mozilla’s board members resigned over the Proposition 8 donation. (Eich acknowledged the Board’s concerns, but refused to step down.)

Still, this is the strongest outcry that has come from another site, using the browser ID tags to effectively boycott the Firefox browser.

You may think there would be legal entanglements in one company blocking the use of another’s service. But, the message does allow OKCupid’s Firefox users to continue to the site via a link at the bottom, but not before they’ve seen download links for the other four major browsers and a very strong call to action:

“Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

As politics and social issues continue to impact consumer behaviors, this appears to be the next big step in the captialism-meets-policy trend.

A screenshot from OKCupid’s landing page message is below:

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 1.34.50 PM

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones

Partner, Anderson Jones PR

A global leader in public relations and social media integration, Jennifer has been at the center of digital communications since the early 90s where she helped launch some of the world's most beloved internet brands. She has been blogging about social media since 2006 and is available for consulting through Anderson Jones PR. 


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Posted on April 9th 2014 at 4:27AM

This is interesting and I think a good way to produce some great activism via social media.  However, this particular use essentially created a witch hunt.  It is ok to have a different opinions and beliefs than “you”.  In addition, the suggestion that users should discontinue use of a product could potentially negatively effect that company’s revenues. Revenues that pay employees who had nothing to do with this issue.  In fact, some of them are probably gay.  I doubt OKCupid put any real thought into this.    

This, in my opinion, is a form of McCarthyism and puts a spotlight on what is wrong with social media.