Mozilla's Browse Free or Die campaign is problematic
Browse Free or Die is a campaign by Mozilla, makers of Firefox, that has been designed to reward Firefox users with a free sticker.
Firefox users who answer questions on their first experience are mentioned explicitly on the project site over on Github. Users who answer a "first experience" question may trigger the sidebar. It is unclear if the sidebar is displayed on other occasions or events as well.
Firefox displays a sidebar panel when the reward requirements are met.It is displayed on the left side of the browser window, and has a close button in the top right corner.
Browse Free or Die
You've earned it
We think you're awesome. That's why we want to send you this awesome sticker. Totally free. Totally for you.
Browse Free or Die
You could say that this is pretty nice of Mozilla, to offer free stickers to Firefox users. That's probably the intention of the "browse free or die" campaign.
Good intentions aside, the campaign is problematic for a number of reasons.
The biggest concern that users may have is that there is no way of telling if the campaign is legitimate or not. The popup looks similar to popups that spam sites may throw at you to get you to enter personal information including your name and address.
If you can distinguish between sidebar content and popups, you may be able to tell that the Browser Free or Die sidebar is not pushed by a site. It could still be pushed by malware, or a malicious browser extension though probably.
It seems likely that the sidebar may cause concern that it is not legitimate, and that the system may be compromised.
The campaign title, browser free or die, seems inappropriate on top of that, and it may feel threatening to some users.
A better title, Firefox loves you or Firefox wants to reward you, would make it look more legitimate probably.
A bug has been opened on Bugzilla to get Mozilla to confirm that it is indeed a legitimate campaign, and to rethink the presentation or existence of the campaign if it is.
Now You: What's your take on the campaign?
For me, it feels like a scam and looks like one; there are certain less experienced users who will send their personal info either expecting that this is some mandatory program registration with free sticker as reward or who will feel threaten by this image and the phrase on it – like it’s necessary to provide personal info or something bad may happen (Firefox won’t run etc), or those who just wanted to get rid of whole sidebar but they didn’t noticed X mark so they provided informations to just close it (“I didn’t read, I just click”). This “sticker campaign” feels to be set precisely for those people.
Nowadays with all that social media approach people tend to throw their personal info without thinking about any consequences of such action in future, I expect some already happily filled fields
I hope it’s not an official thing because if is, then people at Mozilla reached new lowest “standards” of pushing bullshit and they go further in their corporate thinking. And don’t forget that potential database of idiots who would want a piece of paper with some shitty graphics would be very valuable…
Besides, if Mozilla want reward me with something then for all gods sake, give me back control over UI customization as we had in the part and listen to my and other users feedback – that will please me way more than a stupid piece of paper with glue.
!I hope it’s not an official thing ” Sadly it’s Official it’s from the Official Mozilla rep on Github.
It’s just NONSENSE and plain STUPID: They put lot of $money” and lot of time in something meaningless that goes against all things we teach to new users of browsers.
There is so many bugs that wait to be fixed on Buzilla and they find a way to throw money and manpower in a completely useless project instead of devoting those resources to fix the bugs.
One thing is sure I will not suggest to give some $$$ to the Mozilla foundation who is out of touch with his users like Microsoft ðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘ŽðŸ‘Ž
If Mozillians aren’t convinced that their leaders have abandoned ship by now.
I suppose this really comes from Mozilla, because they already do this sort of feelgood lefty faux “empowerment” bullshit. No, I’m not a communist, so “doing x or die” is not my cup of tea, and anyway using a browser, for God’s sake, isn’t an achievement for which ones deserve anything — much less a worthless token such as what ? a sticker ? what is that ? is that a piece of adhesive Mozilla is going to push through my telephone wire ? Give me a break…
They already give you a break since you received nothing. Because you’re not awesome. Sorry.
Looks like not being a communist is not enough to be awesome :)
Nice pseudonym, Clairvaux, how many more do you have?!
So, you remember that word “Give me a break” I mentioned in one of our previous dialogs, do you? It’s a bit of an old-fashioned wording so using it may make you… awesome :)
I certainly don’t remember any “dialogs” between you and me. Yes, I like Clairvaux as a pseudonym. Beats Tom Hawack any time. Do you know who Clairvaux was ? You might like to look it up.
I have one and one only pseudonym here. You can dress up as Clairvaux or as any other inspired or not fantasy of the day, I don’t care. It’s funny, that’s all.
Maybe we can call Clairvaux, “Bernie” for short… :>)
@Valrobex, Bernie, the Bernie we know, is neither an abbot nor imprisoned, if we consider Clairvaux for what it’s most know :)
I think the parole “browse free or die” quite offense and rude. Mozilla should support a more firendly web. We have already too much hate speech online.
I don’t care, I already have the sticker. And the lanyard. Someone I know met people from Mozilla on a tech symposium and took some freebies. :-)
So the staff at Mozilla are nuts. This explains everything.
I never heard of a ‘Browse Free or Die’ campaign before and I hardly understand the way it’s developed.
On the Github page mentioned in the article I discover an ‘All Aboard’ non-signed add-on presumably proposed when setting ‘xpinstall.signatures.required’ to false was still a valid mandatory add-on signing workaround.
I discover on AMO two add-ons including ‘All Aboard’ in their denomination, ‘Firefox All Aboard v1.0’ and ‘Firefox All Aboard v1.2’, both developed by ‘Firefox Growth Team’ said to have mozilla.org as its homepage …
What, who is this ‘Firefox Growth Team’? Is it a division of Mozilla, is it mandated by Mozilla, is it the work of a Mozilla technician’s pal? Why doesn’t Mozilla stand up and say what all this is about?
Be it serious or not I don’t subscribe to what I perceive for now as one of those communication gadgets, moreover when my birth certificate is part of the process.
Mozilla may be a big family they should nevertheless anticipate on users’ legitimate wondering of the seriousness of an add-on requiring their personal data to fulfill its ‘mission’, if mission it is.
I always thought that Mozilla understood that many people are riding the Firefox train because they prize their privacy.
How does this “campaign” fit in with that?
It’s apparently triggered for people who actively answered a “first experience” form. Privacy concerned users and users who don’t care are less likely to reply to the form in the first place, so they have been mostly pruned already. It’s also not unexpected to receive such a message when you already interacted with Mozilla through your browser UI.
We can say things about the phrasing or making sure it’s safe from phishing, we can look up how the data is stored and for what purpose and how long it is kept.
But it has to be in the context of “I see this [sometime] after I sent a browser-UI form to Mozilla talking about my first experience”. i.e. a dialogue has already been engaged voluntarily.
Apparently? I understand your comment and this clarifies things a bit. Yet you do mention that the process is “apparently triggered for people who actively answered a “first experience” form”, so if someone as you who seems to be well informed about Mozilla is not sure, do admit that basic users may be puzzled, whatever they answered in the first place to a “first experience” form when they are invited to fill in private data. That’s what it’s all about and I believe this is the topic of the article.
I’m glad you noticed that “apparently”, because I like to use accurate wording :)
My understanding is only based on Martin’s article and the links he gives. Check out his GitHub link for instance, what is said in there and who are the people saying it.
The only unknowns are *when* this thank you message is displayed, e.g. if it’s right after filling a form or a day later, and what is done with the personally identifiable information after the sticker has been sent.
My guesses are:
– Pretty soon after, and only to a portion of those users who filled the first experience form. It should be soon enough so the user understands where this is coming from. The wording also can be changed a bit to achieve the same goal. The designers probably had a concern that it should not be displayed too soon either in order not to annoy the user with endless communication, because it’s counterproductive. (Mozilla is quite concerned about not being obnoxious or invasive when interacting with users.)
– Data could very well be kept around because it has been voluntarily submitted. But it cannot be tied to browsing habits, and I’m not convinced it is tied to browser health data and stuff.
Lastly, how easy it is for an evil website to mimic the user experience and grab the data is worth considering. The risk is low IMO because it’s a one-time UX and only triggered under certain conditions. There are way more interesting targets for phishing attacks. Should that kind of UX be reused and thus become more interesting, Mozilla has shown that it gives consideration to phishing “vulnerabilities”. (e.g. Lately they removed site icons from the address bar to make sure an attacker won’t be able mimic the HTTPS lock icon and trick the user into filling in sensitive information to an insecure page)
(Also, installed malware is a non-threat: If there’s malware on the computer or even just in the browser, the possibility to mimic this form doesn’t worsen the situation)
Ha! Then they missed that train years back when Mozilla took the $B (yup, “B” as in Billion) google offered up to be the user’s search engine of choice.
Oh, wait, there was no choice, unless you pushed it down the list and made something else the default. Then every FFx update pushed google to the top again.
Google and privacy can never be in the same sentence unless “g” is preceded by “zero ” :)
I don’t remember that default search engine reset thing, but I mostly used keywords in the address bar so maybe I missed it.
Still, I just found that at some point a similar behaviour occurred with Yahoo as the default, but it was a bug, not a policy: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1041571#answer-677594
I don’t know if it was also bug at the time you’re referring to. What I know is that I have had a custom search engine for a long while and it has never reset. (Well perhaps once, when they revamped the feature. Not sure.)
WHY are ALL companies ( MS, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. ) trying to fool users into divulging personal data.
Short answer is they all want to monetize us.
IF this is a genuine announcement and NOT a shifty third party site attempting some data mining, Mozilla is trying to do the same.
What on earth is going on ??!! Please stick your sticker where the Sun does not shine !
Have a look at this wikipedia entry:
There is no indication that it is an official Mozilla initiative.
Worry not, you won’t receive this message. According to the information we have gathered so far, you need to engage on your own volition a dialogue with Mozilla for them to thank you so.
Also Mozilla does not monetize users, that’s not how they make money. Their interests are not at odds with their users’, unlike Google & Friends’ business model.
It’s meant to be cool and geeky that’s why nobody’s heard of it.
It’s ok I think.
How about some Ghacks “Martin loves you” stickers?
Love the idea!
I nominate you to be President of the Ghacks Growth Team and I can sit on the “bored” of directors…err, make that board of directors, and make your life miserable.
It will be great fun and simplify Martin’s life to no end. :>)
“Live Free or Die” is the official motto of the U.S. state of New Hampshire, adopted by the state in 1945. New Hampshire has an interesting revolutionary history, which present residents continue to uphold the best they can.
@Tom Hawack: According to Wikipedia, “Vivre Libre ou Mourir (“Live free or die”) was a popular motto of the French Revolution, which the politician Antoine Barnave had engraved on his buttons.”
More details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Free_or_Die
Nothing to do with communism which was my sarcastic point when answering to Clairvaux. Not much to do with Mozilla, moreover when the historical origin is kindly reminded by you, unless the company has switched its references from the Bible to People’s revolution!
Nearly all Americans are familiar with New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” (and its origins in the American Revolution) because it’s on New Hampshire license plates, but I doubt that many other nationalities are, and I doubt that even most Frenchmen are aware of the French revolutionary origins of “Vivre libre ou mourir.” Without that context, Mozilla’s campaign slogan does sound pretty aggressive, possibly a parochial choice that wasn’t sufficiently vetted by non-Americans. Maybe they should have based their slogan on another state’s license-plate tag line, like Idaho’s: “Famous Potatoes.”
For the sake of honesty, “Live Free or Die” being New Hampshire’s motto tones down my remark aiming to disqualify such a motto on the grounds of a link to France’s 1789 revolution with the very same motto, but in French and opposing as such Mozilla’s better known biblical references to this French revolutionary spirit.
Personally I discovered both “Live Free or Die” and “Vivre libre ou mourir” and their respective contexts here. As a Frenchman I should have known the latter, at least. On another hand not sure Americans far from New Hampshire all know this “Live Free or Die” motto.
It would be interesting to know the relationship between the American history’s motto and its French equivalent. If both hold the idea of a revolution both revolutions are totally apart with of course different causes in different contexts.
You learn every day. Thanks for this pertinent comment and precision, A different Martin.
My goodie of the day : “Remain alive even if not free to contribute to freedom” (quoted from myself!). Vast topic.
@ Tom Hawack:
Americans pay attention to “out-of-state” plates, possibly starting with games to keep kids occupied during long drives, and for older folks, out of curiosity. They have different designs, colors, and mottoes, and they change from time to time. Most Americans living in the contiguous US (i.e., not including Alaska and Hawaii) have probably seen New Hampshire plates at least once in their lives and noticed the unusual “Live Free or Die” motto. I’ve probably seen plates from every state in the country up here in Washington State, except for Hawaii. (Obviously, plates from closer states and Canadian provinces are a lot more common. Why, just last night, I returned home at midnight from a 19-hour day to find a car with California plates parked in my reserved spot. Californians, right? ;-)
Just curious: Do French drivers with kids play a similiar game? Have their kids try to spot different department numbers and identify the department? It would be a lot harder!
@ A different Martin,
So, Californians behave in the States as Parisians in France!? I don’t know anything of everyday life in the U.S. nowadays, my references at that level are those of the kid I was in NY in the sixties! 50 years ago! Reading your comment, a page of a moment of life in the USA lifted me to feelings I would have thought I had forgotten. “The child is the father of the man” and so emotions of youth will have been part of my emotional roots, not to mention cultural ones. I still feel in a certain way American, I mean when I meet Americans or see them on CNN it doesn’t appear as a foreign country to me. I happen to be French, I love my country but I guess I follow the process which concerns all those who have traveled — Who have lived, not visited a country as tourists — leading to a total lack of nationalism and a reconfigured approach of the meaning of patriotism …
Anyway. Here in France kids don’t spend their time on long car journeys with quizzes related to the localization of a “dÃ©partement” (somewhat to do with American states) as they used to before the EU changed/imposed new regulations regarding the car license number/plates. EU or not I guess most of them would stick anyway to their Walkman, smart phone or Ipad : ain’t what it used to be, family could seem to become a concept when every member is in his own universe.
With the new EU regulation (year 2000+ I think, forgot) the license number not only does no longer include the number of the “dÃ©partement” but not even a reference to the EU country where it was issued, and the plate requires that number only, even if many add, under or besides the number itself, a reference for the country (F-France, D-Germany etc …) and sometimes here in France to the “dÃ©partement” as well (37 here, 75 for Paris etc.) All this as far as I know because my license is old and I’m not 100% affirmative how things go on for new car licenses here in the EU considering that pre-EU car licenses haven’t had to re-process their licenses.
Well, I don’t know what part of America (if applicable) would feel the most in contradiction with the New Hampshire motto but I guess that if so, reading such a revolutionary statement could puzzle more than one until the historical context is known. But saying so is maybe relevant of my understanding of “revolution” as a Frenchman when the word certainly develops different reactions in the U.S, a connotation to liberty when the France of 1789 fought before all for equality.
Hugs to America since I always fall in a sentimental mood when recalling memories. Politics is secondary, establishments move when cultures remain.
@ Tom Hawack:
Moi, j’suis Washingtonien et j’suis fier d’Ãªtre Washingtonien. J’suis nÃ© Ã Chicago. Mon pÃ¨re est de New York et ma mÃ¨re est du Nebraska. J’aime pas les Californiens. Y viennent prendre l’espace de stationnement des Washingtoniens. Dans le parking de immeuble oÃ¹ j’habite, y avait un Californien qui me prenait mon espace. Quand on voyait ses plaques d’immatriculation, on disait Â«Tiens, Ã§a, lÃ , Ã§a, c’est le CalifornienÂ». Comme un objet. Quant on voyait sa femme, avec ses cheveux blonds et son tapis de yoga, on disait, Â«Celle-ci, c’est la CalifornienneÂ». J’aime pas les Californiens. Y viennent prendre l’espace de stationnement des Washingtoniens. J’ai expliquÃ© au Californien qu’il s’agissait de mon espace Ã moi et que j’en avais besoin, vu qu’il n’y a plus de place pour se garer dans la rue Ã cause de tous les Ã©trangers venus travailler pour Amazon. Y m’a rÃ©pondu mais j’ai rien compris Ã ce qu’y me racontait, avec ses chill et ses relax et ses chillax. J’en ai conclu qu’il Ã©tait bÃªte et je me suis plaint au gÃ©rant de l’immeuble. Le Californien a dÃ©clarÃ© que je lui Â«harshaisÂ» son Â«mellowÂ», Â«dudeÂ». Il a pris sa femme et son tapis de yoga, ils sont montÃ©s dans leur 4×4 hybride et ils sont retournÃ©s parmi les leurs Ã Carmel-sur-Mer. Et depuis ce jour lÃ , dans notre immeuble on n’a que des chiens nÃ©vrosÃ©s. Il Ã©tait psychiatre pour chiens.
(In the small eventuality that you don’t recognize the reference, the above was based on Fernand Raynaud’s routine about the foreigner in his village. It’s on YouTube.)
@ A different Martin,
Voila qui est fort bien Ã©crit ! J’ai d’abord cru avoir affaire Ã un humoriste patentÃ© en dÃ©gustant ce doublÃ© jouissif Ã outrance, “J’aime pas les Californiens. Y viennent prendre l’espace de stationnement des Washingtoniens.”. J’avoue avoir ratÃ© l’emprunt Ã Fernand Raynaud avoir que celui-ci ne soit rappelÃ© !
Votre FranÃ§ais est de cet griffe nourrie de quelques approximations certainement voulues que seule la vie dans l’hexagone autorise. J’ai particuliÃ¨rement apprÃ©ciÃ© votre peinture de ce couple post-hippie, lui psy pour chiens et elle toute Ã son yoga. Qu’importe le clichÃ© pourvu qu’il soit rÃ©ussi !
Merci Ã vous pour ce brin de soleil venu colorier un ciel bien gris par ici :)
Je ne connais rien de Washington ni de la Californie. Il y a tant Ã dÃ©couvrir, depuis ce chemin Ã deux pas jamais entrevu jusqu’aux mentalitÃ©s et terres amÃ©ricaines dans toute leur diversitÃ© en passant par le reste du globe : chic planÃ¨te !
Bon Dimanche, be happy!
@ Tom Hawack:
Whoa, like, thanks, dude! Stay mellow!
For those that don’t know, Live Free or Die, is the state motto of New Hampshire, USA.
If it offends you, or triggers you, I’m sure Martin will soon set aside a safe place for your recovery.
As a publicity campaign it’s moronic.
This might come as a surprise to you, but some people in the world don’t live in New Hampshire, USA.
I assumed many people in Martin’s audience didn’t know the origin of, Live Free or Die.
What has living there, or not, have to do with anything?
Does anybody outside the USA really care about state mottoes.
One in particular that I remember ( don’t ask me why ) is Missouri’s motto which is “Show me”. What is that supposed to mean ??
They even have it on vehicle number plates. Weird.
Missouri is the “Show Me” state because Missourans are reputed to be great skeptics who demand proof of any claim. “Show me” = “prove it.”
Silly kindergarten stuff. They probably worked on this for 5 month with 188 highly qualified professionals and came out with this. Next thing we may get is an octagonal button for clicking and returning back to the round one.
Of course this major improvement would need more than 484 pros and would take longer than 9 month to establish. What a silly development. Excitement about absolutely nothing.
I think you may have underestimated the numbers involved by a factor of 1,000 Justnonsense :)
L0L MOZILLA CORP. is not what most of Firefox users think it is. GET THE STICKER, GULLIBLES!!
Most? Between a few, some, many and most hahaha has the answer.
Ladies & gentleman, may I introduce you to hahaha who happens to know. You and I had no idea but thanks to hahaha we now know.
What a performer! — let’s give a big hand (as Ed Sullivan used to say) to hahaha. Bravo! Pure talent, exceptional, The Alexandria Library revived. Awesome.
Best ironic sarcasm I’ve read for some time Maestro Tom Hawack :)
what you want ????
what you want ????
“Freedom or Death”… lol, this is the moto of my country not an effin browser. I’d die for my country otherwise it seems too frivolous and or as you said, threating.
All of you hen-coop philosophers, get out and take a walk in the park. Get some fresh air. Your convulsive wisdom is just that. Convulsive. This was a good website until all this maundery started. Sorry to be so blunt but please people, get a life, or at least a dog you could talk to. Don’t ruin this site with your personal conceitedness. Thank you.
I find this lefty surface of MOZILLA CORP. as stinky as propaganda and Mind Control.
Live free or die/Â¡Patria o Muerte! Are just slogans put of a US Corp. Sticker/Site.
Please tell me I’m wrong, MozShills… and WHY
Communication is always propaganda. But I linger to understand where your “Mind Control” fits, unless to consider the idea that a proposal is by definition in the process of controlling a mind, which seems to be rather inconsiderate for those who are in the situation of receiving, make it a buyer, a customer, a woman … women nowadays start to propose (I’m not referring to anything specific) in which case us men may feel weak if we are stuck with the idea above mentioned which is that receiving is a place to be brainwashed.
I just downgraded to version 47, and now my memory usage is within 300mb. The latest version was su*king up memory like adobe flash :(
Soon the Mozilla CORP will turn into the Mozilla Corpses. It would be an unfortunate though. :(
If i were them, I’d have sold it to Google or MS and then take all its contributors to Disney Land :D
On a serious note, when is Mozilla going to wake up and beautify its Thunderbird app? Once again, a great app would be lost to a Sloth(Outlook Express); it just burns my heart. :(