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Perhaps Mozilla Should Unfck Itself Before “Unfcking The Internet”

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Moz/FF

The recent layoffs in August of more than 250 Mozilla employees, a quarter of its workforce, left the company shaking and the community worried about the future of the Firefox maker.

The entire Servo team (A new browser engine in development since 2012), many developers working on MDN (Mozilla’s web development documentation portal) beside people working on various aspects of the company were laid off.

Yet, instead of being transparent on why these layoffs happened and based on what criteria, and what will be the new company’s strategy to increase its current 4% browser marketshare instead of losing it, we get a new initiative from Mozilla called “Unfck The Internet” (Yes, that’s the official name they chose), which as they say, aims to “stop companies like Facebook and YouTube from contributing to the disastrous spread of misinformation and political manipulation”.

But this isn’t just a one-time off initiative from Mozilla. Over the past few years Mozilla has been throwing tons of money and resources on similar social issues and projects of the Internet rather than developing their own main product, which is why they were here in the first place: Firefox.

As a background story one should know that there are two entities here: Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation. The corporation is the one developing Firefox (And hence collects money from search agreements, other services… etc) while the Foundation is the only one receiving donations, hence there’s no direct way of donating to Firefox development. But the Corporation also funds the Foundation. The donations you do to Mozilla Foundation are never used to develop Firefox, but rather, to projects that promote the Mozilla Manifesto.

This situation leaves the scene complex in terms of who to blame; Firefox browser (Controlled by the Corp) is the one generating the profit, but the profit goes to fund the Foundation as well. Yet, people get laid off because there’s no money, despite the “fellowships & awards” category at Mozilla’s blog showing an at least +$10 million spending (With help of other funds) on these social activities and other web projects just in the last two months.

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