Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system? - gHacks Tech News

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Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?

"This extension isn't monitored by Mozilla. Make sure you trust the extension before you install it." is displayed on the Firefox Browser add-ons website when users open all but some of the add-on pages on the official repository.

this extension isnt monitored by mozilla

About 100 extensions are listed on the official add-ons repository without the notification, and all of these are so-called recommended extensions.

Mozilla unveiled the Recommended Extensions program for Firefox in April 2019 officially as a way to highlight and promote certain extensions for the web browser. These extensions undergo rigorous auditing before they are accepted into the program and whenever they are updated, unlike all other extensions, as these are reviewed after they have been made available.

recommended extension

Additionally, Mozilla requires that developers show commitment and that the extensions need to offer an "exceptional user experience" and be relevant.

Developers get the "recommended extension" stamp in return and their extension promoted on Mozilla's AMO website and also in the Firefox web browser as part of the integrated recommendation program.

Firefox users who open the extensions hub on the Mozilla website may browse extensions in multiple ways. Mozilla displays categories at the top and then a list of recommended, top rated, and trending extensions.

A click on the last three links lists only extensions that are recommended by Mozilla; the categories link and search list recommended and regular extensions.

It is possible to uncheck the option to only display recommended extensions to include regular extensions in the listing of add-ons but users are, for the most part, exposed to recommended extensions first.

That's not a bad thing considering that these are of high-quality and audited before they are published. The decision to create the program has an impact on the majority of extensions for the Firefox web browser however.

The two main issues are decreased visibility because recommended extensions are displayed exclusively in many of the listings, and the -- rather scary -- warning that Mozilla displays whenever the page of an extension is opened that is not recommended.

The latter suggests that there may be a risk involved in installing these extensions. Most Firefox users won't be able to go through the source code of the extension to determine that it is safe to use. Mozilla's "learn more" link that is displayed next to the warning tries to explain the risks of installing non-Recommended extensions.

There are thousands of extensions and the vast majority are built with honest intent to provide people with useful tools and features. But even extensions built with the best intentions may inadvertently expose or otherwise compromise sensitive data.

Also, unfortunately, there are a few bad actors out there intent on stealing user data. One method of mining information can be through tricking users into installing malicious extensions. (Here are tips for assessing the safety of an extension.)

Due to the curated nature of Recommended extensions, each extension undergoes a thorough technical security review to ensure it adheres to Mozilla’s add-on policies.

The information, while honest, may sound scary to users and it is quite plausible that a percentage will not install "non-Recommended" extensions because of it. It needs to be noted that Chrome extensions face the exact same risks as non-Recommended extensions for Firefox. Google does not highlight this at all on the Chrome Web Store; Mozilla is open about the potential dangers of extensions for the browser.

On the other hand, Mozilla did audit all extensions in the past before they were made available on the Firefox AMO extensions store.

Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?

The short answer is yes and the system has very likely an impact on non-recommended extensions on Mozilla AMO and the extensions that Firefox users install. It could reduce the impact that malicious or problematic extensions have but it may also lead to less extensions being developed or maintained for Firefox because of it.

Now you: What is your take on the recommended extensions system?

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Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?
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Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?
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"This extension isn't monitored by Mozilla. Make sure you trust the extension before you install it." is displayed on the Firefox Browser add-ons website when users open all but several dozens add-on pages.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 2:42 pm
    Reply

    I mean, who cares what Mozilla does at this stage? The approx. 4% of the entire Internet population still using Firefox? Please… It will go away in its current form, either by totally collapsing (both financially and due to lack of web admin support for the niche browser), or by switching to Blink in order to dramatically reduce development costs.

    I think the Brave browser will be the one to take on Chrome, for a simple reason: Its BAT system fixes a fundamental issue of today’s web. Today, only the content providers and the provider of advertisements profit from ads, the user doesn’t profit at all from being force-fed ads all the time. That’s why adblockers become more and more prevalent among users. Brave fixes this by granting users a share of the income for the inconvenience of having to watch advertisements, while the content providers and the providers of advertisements still get their fair share, instead of being left in the dark (conventional adblockers). Mark my words, Brave will spread, as it’s based on a sound and urgently needed idea.

    I realize that Brave is based on Chromium; I do not care at all. Chromium is open source and is used in many browsers. As long as the Google spyware is being removed from the code base, which is the case with Brave, everything is fine.

    1. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 3:49 pm
      Reply

      >Mark my words, Brave will spread, as it’s based on a sound and urgently needed idea.

      Brave? Just another heartless Chrome(ium) clone. Hard pass, next!

      I will keep gekkering (fox laugh) from my ivory tower for as long as an ESR is released each year and patched monthly. Also Firefox will keep the API required for full uBlock Origin functionality that Google threatened to remove at some point from Chrome(ium).

      1. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 4:19 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux

        I think you are deliberately overlooking the revolutionary potential behind the BAT system. The arms race between adblockers and publishers blocking (and whining about) adblockers is in no way sustainable. If users are paid their fair share, and if ads become more acceptable in their behavior and appearance (another goal of the Brave project), then this can fix the “advertisement issue” the Internet is plagued by.

        Also, I don’t know if you are aware of this: The built-in Brave adblocker doesn’t make use of the webRequest API Google intends to cripple, but is implemented differently. The API change only affects third party blockers like uBlock Origin that have to use extension APIs.

        Next to Brave, I have also set up a Pi Hole for anything Brave might not catch (not much according to my stats). The change proposed by Google doesn’t affect me at all.

        Firefox will fail as it does not use Blink, which is what every other web browser (apart from Safari) uses. Its dwindling market share makes it abundantly clear that it will go away or change drastically as described above, in the mid term. They lack the revolutionary potential of Brave, maybe they shouldn’t have deposed Brendan Eich back then, I think this ideologically influenced decision will come back to bite them.

      2. Anon said on January 21, 2020 at 8:49 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        >The arms race between adblockers and publishers blocking (and whining about) adblockers is in no way sustainable.

        Are you sure? I have been blocking ads ever since the original AdBlock Plus came out in 2005 and my adblocking arsenal is stronger than ever. There is nothing they can do to stop people like me from blocking ads. Nothing. We’ll always find a way.

      3. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 8:59 am
        Reply

        @Anon

        You see, adblockers have become much more prevalent in recent years, so much so that Google and publishers search for ways to disable them (Extension Manifest V3 being one of them). I see more and more websites, especially news outlets, complaining about uBlock Origin, and I think that is indicative of adblockers being a target now.

        If all browsers cripple them, then the fight will be taken to the router level (Pi-Hole), if this becomes more prevalent (if ever, it’s not child’s play to set up a Pi-Hole for most people), then I think we will see a rise of paywalls.

        I think the healthier solution is the one Brave proposes (visually acceptable ads, privacy friendly, users getting their fair share via BAT).

      4. Allwynd said on January 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm
        Reply

        Until they have to drop the API. Since Firefox is on a mission to become a Chrome clone, it will have to drop the API at some point.

      5. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 4:49 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        http://www.cutestpaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-laughing-fox.jpg

        Mozilla is not an ad company but Google is. But you might have overlooked this.

        >The built-in Brave adblocker doesn’t make use of the webRequest API

        So the built-in is inferior to uBlock Origin’s scope of blocking possibilities?

        >Firefox will fail as it does not use Blink, which is what every other web browser (apart from Safari) uses.

        Argumentum ad populum also known as the Bandwagon fallacy.

        https://arewefastyet.com/win10/overview?numDays=60

        If you ignore synthetic benchmarks that do not reflect real websites, and only look at the Tp6 Apple, Google, Facebook, Imgur, ebay, etc tests with real websites, Firefox has less latency pretty much everywhere important like Instagram. If we look at sites with huge user numbers.

        It is slower on Youtube, but big surprise:
        https://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-exec-says-google-slowed-youtube-down-on-non-chrome-browsers/

        @Allwynd

        Hyperbole, they have their own Gecko rendering engine and said they will not remove “block webRequest” in Manifest v3. Having the same extension API hardly makes the anything close to a clone.

      6. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 5:54 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux

        > Mozilla is not an ad company but Google is. But you might have overlooked this.

        Mozilla if funded by Google, the ad company:

        https://9to5google.com/2017/11/20/google-default-search-mozilla-firefox-2017/

        I prefer the company that is able to stand on its own feet (Brave), as opposed to Google’s lapdog (Mozilla), thank you very much.

        > So the built-in is inferior to uBlock Origin’s scope of blocking possibilities?

        Not according to my stats. Having the very same lists enabled in both the Brave built-in adblocker and uBlock Origin results in zero blocking on uBlock Origin’s part. That’s because the built-in Brave adblocker filters before uBlock origin does, but I take this test as a confirmation that the built-in Brave adblocker is effective.

        > Argumentum ad populum also known as the Bandwagon fallacy.

        What are you on about? Browsers rely on website admins / web developers testing websites against them. If Firefox market share keeps dwindling, not many devs will bother to test their websites for it. Not saying that too many bother even now…

        Fewer browser users = less web compatibility, due to less interest by website admins… It’s not too hard to understand.

        > If you ignore synthetic benchmarks that do not reflect real websites, and only look at the Tp6 Apple, Google, Facebook, Imgur, ebay, etc tests with real websites, Firefox has less latency pretty much everywhere important like Instagram. If we look at sites with huge user numbers.

        Why should I care? Websites are tested against Blink, the de facto standard rendering engine. Raw performance was not my argument.

        PS: The Firefox logo was originally meant to depict a red panda, not a fox. See here: https://www.freelogodesign.org/blog/2019/06/14/the-story-behind-the-mozilla-firefox-logo

      7. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 6:38 pm
        Reply

        >Mozilla if funded by Google, the ad company

        Sure, the Google start page and search engine funds. Same can be said about Amazon search in FF? Are you comparing an optional search engine versus a browser full of trackers? The fallacy of oversimplification.

        >I prefer the company that is able to stand on its own feet (Brave),

        Less Izmore explained it to you already quite good, see her/his excellent post.

        >Why should I care? Websites are tested against Blink, the de facto standard rendering engine. Raw performance was not my argument.

        Moving the goalpoasts!

        >PS: The Firefox logo was originally meant to depict a red panda, not a fox. See here
        Quote: “It was the red panda. Unfortunately, people thought that the animal on the Mozilla Firefox logo was a fox.”

        If they meant for it to be a panda since the beginning and the users “thought” it to be a fox, they are already lying to themselves: https://i.imgur.com/5zpPplE.png

        And if you try to lecture people, politely get your facts straight first. Jon Hicks thought the panda had no value of being recognized so he opted for a japanese fox all along since the very beginning:
        https://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/branding-firefox

      8. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 7:06 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux

        > Sure, the Google start page and search engine funds.

        Who pays the money also calls the shots. Google funds Mozilla, you can not weasel your way out of that.

        > Are you comparing an optional search engine versus a browser full of trackers?

        As I have already pointed out in my reply to @Less Izmore:

        https://marketingland.com/privacy-centric-browser-brave-launches-its-twist-on-display-ads-259895

        I quote from the article I linked to:

        “What’s the ad model and revenue structure? Brave Ads are served only to users that opt-in to the Brave Rewards program and agree to see ads. When users view ads, they accumulate Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), a blockchain-based system. The Brave browser can monitor users’ browsing and attention behavior anonymously – the data lives locally only and isn’t passed back to Brave, publishers, advertisers or any middle-men.”

        “Browser full of trackers” is just some random FUD you spread. Nothing more. Besides, has Firefox stopped using Google Analytics in Firefox yet?

        https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/6mt8i4/security_fuckup_aboutaddons_uses_google_analytics/

        > Less Izmore explained it to you already quite good, see her/his excellent post.

        Nice writeup for sure, good style and grammar. Problem is, @Less Izmore doesn’t know what he / she is talking about.

        > Moving the goalpoasts!

        Not at all, performance was never my argument. You just inserted it into the discussion for whatever reason. I was and still am talking about web compatibility / correct rendering of websites.

      9. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 8:53 pm
        Reply

        >“Browser full of trackers” is just some random FUD you spread. Nothing more. Besides, has Firefox stopped using Google Analytics in Firefox yet?

        Not the way I configured it in about:config

        about:config?filter=extensions.webservice.discoverURL

        https://www.ghacks.net/2017/07/13/privacy-blunder-firefox-getaddons-page-google-analytics/

      10. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux

        So, you modified about:config in order to avert Google Analytics, as it’s used by default? Good to know, I rest my case. I trust Brave more than Mozilla at this stage, pal, for good reason.

        Besides, @RenardRoux, I can see people being fans of Firefox for some reason. However, it’s clear that the browser is failing. Only approx. 4% (around 9% on the desktop, if you exclude mobile) of the entire Internet population are using it at this point. In its heyday, Firefox used to have 30%+ users on the desktop, and mobile wasn’t as big back then as it is now. Due to these damning figures, I am pointing out that it will fade away if the recent trend is anything to go by. My opinion is thus based on the actual stats. Now my question would be, why do you feel so offended when I am pointing this out? These are undeniable facts, and in order to make a turnaround (which I honestly don’t see coming), Firefox would need a truly revolutionary concept, which it doesn’t have. Brave IMHO has one, which I have also pointed out.

        I think discussing a project with a fading market share (Mozilla Firefox) is okay, but at this stage the writing is already on the wall. I think Firefox, among all browsers, will soon have a similar status like Linux has on the desktop, which is to say none of importance.

      11. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:05 pm
        Reply

        > Firefox, among all browsers, will soon have a similar status like Linux has on the desktop, which is to say none of importance
        At least Linux is customizable, unlike Firefox that has been dumbed down in terms of UI and features.

      12. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 9:06 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        >“Browser full of trackers” is just some random FUD you spread. Nothing more.

        You need to relax, that’s borderline argumentum ad hominem already.

        I don’t need to prove anything when Microsoft already revealed the 50 “services” in Chrome(ium) that track you: https://i.imgur.com/NCol6fX.png

        Search and URL suggestion is tracking to me, when you make use of their auto translation they get your full URL of the currently visited website. Connect the dots and the implication of seemingly harmless features.

        >When users view ads, they accumulate Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), a blockchain-based system.

        That doesn’t sound kosher at all, especially when a site called marketingsomething wants to lure people into doing that. Advertisements are the main source of trackers on the net, and you expect me to view them voluntarily?

        Repost reaction for maximum effect: http://www.cutestpaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-laughing-fox.jpg

        (I stay free, red and firefox.)

      13. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 8:22 am
        Reply

        @RenardRoux

        > You need to relax, that’s borderline argumentum ad hominem already.

        Okay, let’s see:

        1) You said something about Brave which is untrue.
        2) This “something” attempts to harm Brave’s reputation.

        The very definition of FUD, that’s not an argumentum ad hominem, that’s a fact.

        > I don’t need to prove anything when Microsoft already revealed the 50 “services” in Chrome(ium) that track you

        Yes, and Microsoft did remove them all, and so did Brave. Except that Brave didn’t replace them with their own data collection, as opposed to Microsoft.

        > Search and URL suggestion is tracking to me,

        Every browser I know of does that, including the wannabe privacy protector Firefox, by default.

        > when you make use of their auto translation they get your full URL of the currently visited website.

        1) You don’t have to use the feature.
        2) It can be turned off in the settings.

        > Connect the dots and the implication of seemingly harmless features.

        I wish you would. Start with “Firefox Studies”, sounds harmless… Except for things like Cliqz, that phone home all the time. Wait a minute, Mozilla owns Cliqz? My bad.

        > That doesn’t sound kosher at all,

        Both legal and a great idea.

        > specially when a site called marketingsomething wants to lure people into doing that.

        The concept of the Brave browser is centered around solving the defective advertisement strategies of the web today by reforming them, a website about marketing should take an interest in that, and it did. Not sure what you are on about.

        > Advertisements are the main source of trackers on the net, and you expect me to view them voluntarily?

        Did you read my prior comment? The Brave ads are served locally, no data reaches Brave, the publisher, or any other middle-men. Brave attempts to solve the tracking issues by introducing a privacy-friendly ad system that grants the users their fair share via BAT.

        > (I stay free, red and firefox.)

        Mozilla isn’t free (funded by Google), and consequently you are not free either. Keep telling yourself that, I am sure if you repeat it often enough it will become true at some point.

      14. John said on January 21, 2020 at 2:54 am
        Reply

        Did I really just read a comment where a guy says he prefers Brave to Firefox because he wants a browser that stands on it’s own two feet instead of relying on Google?

        Dude, Brave’s web rendering engine is straight out of Chromium- you know, from Google. Every time Chromium is updated by Google, Brave takes that update, does the minimal work to make it compatible with what it does, and then sends it to you. Most of Brave’s code is the same as Google Chrome’s.

        Firefox is developed completely independently- every line of code. Every update. Every everything.

        That’s because Firefox is a real browser and Brave is just some sort of a scheme to repackage a browser from an ad company and substitute it’s own ads for their own ads (and everyone else’s), brought to you by a bitter ex-Firefox executive with an axe to grind and a money to burn.

      15. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 7:42 am
        Reply

        @John

        > Did I really just read a comment where a guy says he prefers Brave to Firefox because he wants a browser that stands on it’s own two feet instead of relying on Google?

        Brave is financially independent, Mozilla is not. Mozilla needs funding from Google or they cease to exist, which is why Google has a major influence on them as well.

        > Dude, Brave’s web rendering engine is straight out of Chromium- you know, from Google.

        Wrong, Google is not in sole control of Chromium. They are in sole control of Chrome, which is an offshoot of Chromium. Chromium has other notable contributors as well, namely Microsoft, Opera, Samsung etc. etc., it can also be forked by anyone at will. I am tired of having to explain the Chromium vs. Chrome difference all the time, it seems people are unable to grasp it.

        > Every time Chromium is updated by Google, Brave takes that update, does the minimal work to make it compatible with what it does, and then sends it to you.

        Brave is a modified version of Chromium, they don’t just accept changes 1:1. And they are able to do so, because Chromium is open source, if they dislike a change Google or anyone else introduces into Chromium, they do not have to adopt it.

        > Firefox is developed completely independently- every line of code. Every update. Every everything.

        Not sure if ignorant or lying, but here it is: Firefox has adopted Google’s extension APIs, its DRM modules is provided by Google (so no streaming without Google’s help), and recently they have imported more and more Chromium code into their engine instead of writing it themselves. And as I said, Google also funds them, so they are definitely not independent from a financial point of view.

        > That’s because Firefox is a real browser and Brave is just some sort of a scheme to repackage a browser from an ad company

        Both are real browsers, and contrary to Mozilla, Brave is not funded by the ad company.

        > brought to you by a bitter ex-Firefox executive with an axe to grind and a money to burn.

        Worthless ad hominems without substance, but it should be noted that Mozilla treated Brendan Eich extremely badly back then, so I wouldn’t hold it against him if he holds a grudge against them.

      16. John said on January 22, 2020 at 1:38 am
        Reply

        Iron Heart wrote:

        “Brave is financially independent”

        To the best of my knowledge, Brave is only financially independent in the sense that Brandon Eich is personally pouring money into it at a loss. It isn’t actually supporting itself. The question of course becomes, will Eich do it forever if the browser stays small? Even if it doubles or triples in marketshare, it’s still small, and would still probably use money. The man is rich, but eventually that tap will run dry.

        So, as that pressure builds to find alternative funding source, Brave may forcefully implement it’s plan to take over all ad revenues from the sites and only redistribute them to those sites that directly ask, the system would become first user opt-out, and then a more difficult to change setting, and finally mandatory. That’s one path.

        Another path is that because of Eich’s reputation and user base, he may find a source of revenue from the far-right or from Russia, but those are both sources he should hesitate to involve himself with, and users should hesitate to involve themselves with a browser beholden to them if that’s what happens. Who knows? Perhaps it already has happened. Does Brave have open books?

        Already, even without the funding crisis they may face, and even assuming it’s just Eich’s money, I would say that some of the comments I read from Brave users promoting their browser and trashing Firefox deeply concern me on political grounds. I realize some people even further right than the Brave userbase overall forked Eich’s fork, but, even so… I think ultimately what is happening is that Brave is turning into the right-wing browser for right-wingers used for political reasons, and of course no self-respecting Democrat or independent would want to be involved with that when there are so many other browsers out there.

        People tell me that Mozilla is in favor of social justice (If it’s a Brave user, usually they say this in a very derogatory way). Well, if Mozilla is in favor of social justice, to me as a progressive/Democrat, that’s a good thing. So, Brave users are inadvertently advertising their competition to people who believe as I do in a very effective way. However, with that being said, Mozilla itself is not branding itself politically, but as a browser for everyone, which I think is what most people prefer, even some conservatives.

        Even the name of the Brave browser and it’s logo are dog whistles to right-wingers who know the circumstances of his departure from Mozilla. I don’t know that he personally is as right-wing and as nasty to people who aren’t as some of the people who support his browser, but he is playing to that audience intentionally to some degree, I suspect.

        “Mozilla needs funding from Google or they cease to exist, which is why Google has a major influence on them as well.”

        It’s more complex than that. Mozilla, like most web browsers, gets revenue from any of the preinstalled search engines one uses, including not just Google, but Bing, DuckDuckGo, and so on and so forth. They just get more from Google than others, because the users overall prefer Google and Google pays the most per search, and is set as the default. A lot of people forget that Yahoo entered into a deal to be set as the default and was the default in most western countries in Firefox for several years, and then Yahoo got purchased by Verizon and that triggered an escape clause, so Firefox went back to Google.

        Personally, I use Duck with Firefox. No one has to use Google.

        So, I think the Firefox-Google connection is a bit overstated. It’s a little problematic, which is why Firefox keeps making efforts to break away, like their temporary switch to Yahoo as their temporary default search engine, and also makes attempts to diversify their revenue, like the VPN they are working on and other products. I think they are smart to try to diversify and be less dependent on any one company, especially a competitor.

        However, regardless of financing, Firefox still has it’s own web rendering engine (Gecko) and independently develops it’s browser on an on-going basis, with it’s original source (From which not a single line of code remains) being Netscape Navigator, not Google/Chromium/Chrome. That makes it more independent than any browser forked from Chromium that relies on Google’s rendering engine, Blink, and directly keeps reforking a Google control project, Chromium, and merges their updates with it’s browser on a regular basis, as Brave does.

        “Wrong, Google is not in sole control of Chromium. They are in sole control of Chrome, which is an offshoot of Chromium. Chromium has other notable contributors as well, namely Microsoft, Opera, Samsung etc. etc., it can also be forked by anyone at will.”

        Chromium has more than one company or organization contributing patches, but it was founded by Google and Google retains operational control. They take the help and perhaps input of others, but, in the end, they call the shots. Whatever is in Chromium is in there because Google said yes to it, and there are things that aren’t in there because Google said no. That they accept free work from others when they think it benefits them does not necessarily change that.

        It can also be forked, and there are plenty of “soft forks” out there, but there aren’t any hard forks that have totally separated their ongoing development from Chromium’s on-going development, and that is because doing so would be expensive and potentially break compatibility. They’d also probably also have to maintain their own app store. Brave talks about maybe having the ability to do some of that eventually, but it would cost them a ton of money to do a complete fork and actually compete, so that depends on a very hypothetical future where they make big money. In reality, they can make some changes, but only to a point. Developers of some of these soft Chromium forks are often pretty upfront about the challenges they face, and how difficult to impossible it can be to maintain even small differences in certain areas of the code, and how Google could cut them off at the knees and force them to conform to changes they don’t want to conform to, or else breakoff and started completely independently developing, which requires a lot more funding and developers than anyone has thrown at a Chromium fork so far (Microsoft is certainly well-funded enough to do it with Edge, but they’ve likely become a Chromium fork in part so that they no longer have to spend that kind of money.).

        It’s also notable that Chrome, the trademarked top-level Google browser that is Chromium with some proprietary stuff, can’t be forked. So, the two-tier system is in part to keep certain things proprietary. There’s only one Firefox browser, and you can fork everything in the core browser except the name and the logos.

        I am not a Google hater. I prefer Android phones to iPhones. I do have a Google service or two that I use as well. However, I think it’s important to have diversity and competition in all areas up and down the chain and try to prevent anyone from yielding monopoly power. The more the browser market and the web rendering market consolidate on Google and Blink, the more power they have to unilaterally shape the future of the web, and they will undoubtedly do so in the way that most benefits them, an advertising company, and against anyone who wants to block ads, among other things.

        You’ll notice that Chrome for Android has no extensions, nor a built-in ad-blocker- because they don’t have to in order to compete. Manifest v3 extensions for desktop Chrome and Chromium are going to limit what ad-blockers can do, and I think Google is empowered there because of the monopoly power it’s developing. Firefox is really the only entity in the browser market that’s large enough to counter that and making any effort to counter it, but it’s influence shrinks as it’s userbase does. Brave is helping to hand the future to Google, even if that’s not it’s intent.

        I mean, people can use what they want. I used Vivaldi, which is a Chromium fork, myself for a while, and sometimes have it installed as a “backup” browser (Though Firefox is my main browser), because I like all it’s UI options. If you want to use Brave, go ahead, but it’s not what it says it is. You don’t compete with Google by being Google, you compete with Google by being yourself.

        “Firefox has adopted Google’s extension APIs”

        Extension APIs are not browser code, they’re extension code. And even though Firefox’s extensions are now very similar to Chrome extensions because Firefox wanted to pave the way for developers who were abandoning it as it’s marketshare fell to come back by making it more trivial for them to port their Chomium/Chrome extensions to Firefox extensions, developers say Mozilla still allows them to do more. UBlock Origin in particular can do more today on Firefox than on Chromium/Chrome, according to it’s developer, who a few years ago was a Chrome user primarily and first developed his extension for Chrome. I would imagine he’s a Firefox user now.

        Their independence has also allow Mozilla to draw a line in the sand and publicly say they will not adopt some aspects of Google’s Manifest v3, which will mean Firefox extensions will be even more powerful in relative terms to what Chromium/Chrome extensions are allowed to do in a year or two.

        ” its DRM modules is provided by Google (so no streaming without Google’s help)”

        Isn’t everyone’s EME DRM coming from the same source? Does Brave get it from somewhere else? I doubt they do.

        However, with that said, Mozilla’s implementation of that same EME DRM module is done in a wrapper that sandboxes it from most other aspects of the browser in a way that Chrome and Chromium (and presumably their soft forks) do not. Mozilla insisted on the ability to do that when the standard was being planned, and they got what they wanted. In addition, if you don’t want the EME DRM, I think Mozilla does allow you to download a version of it without that feature, and/or to uninstall it, something else not all browsers that have adopted it allow. So, it’s more segregated from the Firefox browser in their implementation, but still gives you the same functionality.

        “Brave is not funded by the ad company.”

        Brave is trying to *become* the ad-company by replacing the ads that websites choose to run with ads that Brave is being paid for, and only gives revenue back to the websites from if the websites specifically contact Brave and ask for it (Which some won’t because Brave is so small and they don’t know about it or it’s not worth their time, and others won’t because they object to what Brave is doing on principle. A small website would also ultimately have a lot of trouble keeping up with requesting it’s own few pennies back from every single browser if Brave’s way of doing things caught on. It’s not scalable as an industry standard and it’s questionable to begin with.).

        “it should be noted that Mozilla treated Brendan Eich extremely badly back then”

        And Brave users online note it *a lot*. It seems very important to them for some reason…

      17. Iron Heart said on January 22, 2020 at 5:48 am
        Reply

        @John

        > To the best of my knowledge, Brave is only financially independent in the sense that Brandon Eich is personally pouring money into it at a loss. It isn’t actually supporting itself.

        Wrong. While it is true that Eich had to invest private money into Brave in the beginning (as is normal and usual when a new company is founded), Brave can now support itself via BAT, since they get a small share of the BAT income.

        > The question of course becomes, will Eich do it forever if the browser stays small?

        It has millions of active daily users already, and keeps growing exponentially. In Japan for example, it already outranks some of the major browsers in terms of download count: https://www.publish0x.com/cryptobabbles/brave-browser-now-most-frequently-downloaded-web-browser-jap-xddmxn

        > So, as that pressure builds to find alternative funding source, Brave may forcefully implement it’s plan to take over all ad revenues from the sites and only redistribute them to those sites that directly ask, the system would become first user opt-out, and then a more difficult to change setting, and finally mandatory. That’s one path.

        Don’t see it happening, Brave is already growing exponentially and can support itself, no need to force anything that could drive users away.

        > Another path is that because of Eich’s reputation and user base, he may find a source of revenue from the far-right or from Russia, but those are both sources he should hesitate to involve himself with, and users should hesitate to involve themselves with a browser beholden to them if that’s what happens. Who knows? Perhaps it already has happened.

        Now this is ridiculous, and I think you know it. For one, a browser can’t live from donations alone, Mozilla has already understood this, Eich knows it too. Russia already has Yandex and zero need or incentive to support Brave. Furthermore, Brave is no “far-right operation” or something, the product itself is in no way political, and some of the employees seem to be left-wing as far as I can tell. Maybe Eich isn’t narrow-minded enough to base his hiring strategy off the political opinions of potential employees…

        I think the notion that Brave is right wing because of the private opinions of Eich, which have yet to surface in any way within the product itself, is outright ridiculous.

        A personal remark on my part: Intermingling everything with politics, and basing your decisions regarding the products you use off the political world view of the people behind the product, even if the product itself is non-political, is a sign of totalitarianism.

        > Already, even without the funding crisis they may face, and even assuming it’s just Eich’s money, I would say that some of the comments I read from Brave users promoting their browser and trashing Firefox deeply concern me on political grounds.

        I don’t think any number of Brave users you might have met so far is can represent anything at all; the spectrum of the people you know is likely far too small to draw any conclusions, in spite of you attempting to do so. That being said, I think there are left wing and right wing and classical liberal and what not users of any browser out there, because I am not aware of a browser with a specific political agenda. There is also one browser (Chrome) dominating large segments of the overall market, implying that people across the entire political spectrum use Chrome and not much else. Do I boycott Chrome now because some right wing extremist might use it, myself being a classical liberal? Nope, because the product itself is not political, and because I do not invest the time to research every private detail of the people behind a given product, because I do not have a totalitarian mindset.

        > I realize some people even further right than the Brave userbase overall forked Eich’s fork, but, even so…

        And you might not be aware (or deliberately hiding?) that Brendan Eich was in no way supportive of Dissenter’s effort to fork the Brave browser. But then, that is the nature of open source, Eich can’t do anything about people forking his browser as long as his registered trademarks aren’t being violated, because the license under which the code is distributed permits it. If some left-wing radical decided to fork it and create something different based on it, he wouldn’t be able to prevent that, either. I think you can’t really hold the fact that someone forked his browser against Eich in any way.

        > I think ultimately what is happening is that Brave is turning into the right-wing browser for right-wingers used for political reasons,

        Sorry, I don’t see how. The Brave browser is apolitical, none of its features have anything to do with politics whatsoever. Why should it be attractive to right-wing persons in particular? Because Brendan Eich (next to mostly left-wing employees) is involved? Please… That’s a giant stretch. I am sure most Brave users use the browser upon the recommendation of friends, and most Brave users are in it for the BAT, and the built-in adblocker (especially after Google announced Extension Manifest V3). Again, assuming that a political agenda is behind everything that moves is a sign of totalitarian-minded people.

        > and of course no self-respecting Democrat or independent would want to be involved with that when there are so many other browsers out there.

        I have news for you: Brendan Eich used to be involved with Mozilla big time, and many technical aspects of Firefox are still based on his work. I am also sure that some Republican might use Firefox, you need to jump ship! Don’t waste time, now! Before it’s too late! /s

        > Well, if Mozilla is in favor of social justice, to me as a progressive/Democrat, that’s a good thing.

        Even if so, I don’t think this is a criterion for choosing an apolitical product, a browser. Unless you go out of your way to research the political opinions of the people behind a product, and base your decision off of that, even if the product by itself has no political meaning all by itself. You already know the mindset, no need to repeat.

        > Mozilla itself is not branding itself politically, but as a browser for everyone, which I think is what most people prefer, even some conservatives.

        Nah, don’t think so. Mozilla is clearly left-wing, they have donated money to RiseUp, a communication platform primarily used by Antifa groups. Personally, that would not be a criterion for me as long as the product itself is apolitical, but I have still jumped ship for other reasons, namely 1) me being convinced that the current advertisement strategies of the web need reform and 2) due to anti-privacy changes / scandals on Mozilla’s part.

        > Even the name of the Brave browser and it’s logo are dog whistles to right-wingers who know the circumstances of his departure from Mozilla.

        That’s pretty paranoid, I don’t know how the name “Brave” (it’s a common adjective for, you know, “bravery”) and a cartoon lion as a logo are catering to right-wingers, but anyway. Maybe I am missing something, could be. Lions beware!

        > I don’t know that he personally is as right-wing and as nasty to people who aren’t as some of the people who support his browser, but he is playing to that audience intentionally to some degree, I suspect.

        I have scrolled down his Twitter page a bit just now, but sorry, I don’t see it. I think he largely keeps his own political opinion out of his job.

        > It’s more complex than that. Mozilla, like most web browsers, gets revenue from any of the preinstalled search engines

        No, it’s not that complex unless you choose to make it so: Mozilla is funded by Google, they are their main source of income. There is no denying that. Supposedly, Google is giving Mozilla money in order to be Firefox’s default search engine, but that’s a scam. You mentioned the Yahoo deal, the Yahoo market share didn’t significantly rise despite it having been the default search engine in Firefox for some time, implying that most users switched back to Google immediately. So Google can easily maintain its market share without funding Mozilla, so the funding is probably given for other reasons. I suspect that the real reason behind Google’s money is that Mozilla has to have shitty default privacy settings in Firefox, so that Google can continue to slurp up the data of most Firefox users. Hey, you speculated about Eich, why can’t I speculate?

        > Chromium has more than one company or organization contributing patches, but it was founded by Google and Google retains operational control.

        The “operational control” part is just not correct. Sure, they are in control of the GitHub repo, but guess what? There is a “fork” button which you need to hit, which will clone the Chromium repo. *You* are now in control of the forked repo, not Google. You can also import changes from Google’s Chromium repo as desired.

        > Whatever is in Chromium is in there because Google said yes to it, and there are things that aren’t in there because Google said no.

        Cool, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. Alternative Chromium browsers *do have* altered Chromium code, because Google doesn’t control their version of Chromium.

        > It can also be forked, and there are plenty of “soft forks” out there, but there aren’t any hard forks that have totally separated their ongoing development from Chromium’s on-going development, and that is because doing so would be expensive and potentially break compatibility.

        You are correct as far as “expensive” goes. Sure, if you want to maintain a fork of Chromium, it will cost you money to maintain it. However, the exact amount of money needed largely depends on the scope of changes you want to introduce, if changes are extensive, more manpower and working hours are needed, if they are less extensive, less manpower and working hours are needed. It depends on what you want to do. Projects like Vivaldi and Brave IMHO have enough money and skill to back out small to medium nefarious changes Google introduces. I don’t think they can stem development entirely on their own, but I think they can modify Chromium to their liking for the most part without any problems.

        > Microsoft is certainly well-funded enough to do it with Edge, but they’ve likely become a Chromium fork in part so that they no longer have to spend that kind of money

        I think they gave up on EdgeHTML because it wasn’t going anywhere, and because most website admins are only testing for Chromium at this stage. Fact is that Google has not yet fucked up enough, if you will, for anyone to have an incentive to hard-fork Chromium. Let’s say Microsoft does it, because Google introduces some nefarious change into their own line of Chromium and nobody likes it, then it could be that other Chromium forks are then based off Edge instead of Chrome. If Google really drops the ball, there will be a reaction.

        > It’s also notable that Chrome, the trademarked top-level Google browser that is Chromium with some proprietary stuff, can’t be forked.

        While this is true, Google has an extremely high incentive to keep maintaining a Chromium that works independently of the proprietary binary blobs Chrome comes with, because if they no longer do 1) someone big like Microsoft will fork the last publicly available state and continue and 2) there are many apps relying on an operational Chromium in some way or another, that Google WILL have to continue, lest they cede market share to Microsoft or a cooperation of Brave / Vivaldi / Opera / Microsoft etc.

        > Firefox browser, and you can fork everything in the core browser except the name and the logos.

        That’s the case with Chromium as well, the proprietary binary blobs Chrome comes with have no bearing on Chromium.

        > However, I think it’s important to have diversity and competition in all areas up and down the chain and try to prevent anyone from yielding monopoly power.

        It won’t be a monopoly because 1) Chromium is open source and can be forked and 2) Google will shoot themselves in the foot if they continue with their current advertising model, one which puts the user last, and if they go through with their plan to cripple the webRequest API. Brave will eat into Chrome’s market share soon enough.

        > The more the browser market and the web rendering market consolidate on Google and Blink, the more power they have to unilaterally shape the future of the web,

        And you think a 4% market share Firefox will prevent this? Good one. Not to mention that Mozilla licked Google’s boots even before that, they never really stood in the way of anything, not even in the way of heavy-handed DRM which Google managed to make into an HTML standard, with our hero Mozilla looking idly on. Mozilla protecting us from anything is a joke, and has always been one. That sweet Google money needs to flow…

        > Brave is helping to hand the future to Google, even if that’s not it’s intent.

        Brave, due to it revolutionizing the entire realm of online ads, is more dangerous to Google than Firefox ever was or ever could have been. Mozilla is in Google’s pocket and controlled opposition, Brave actively challenges Google’s ad money mill.

        > You’ll notice that Chrome for Android has no extensions, nor a built-in ad-blocker

        You spelled “Bromite” wrong, the browser you need is “Bromite”. Again, one can use other Chromium browsers besides the one named “Google Chrome”.

        > Manifest v3 extensions for desktop Chrome and Chromium are going to limit what ad-blockers can do, and I think Google is empowered there because of the monopoly power it’s developing.

        That will be countered by 1) Pi-Hole, on which Google has zero influence and 2) browsers that come with adblockers which don’t rely on the webRequest API, like the built-in adblocker of Brave. I think you are overestimating the impact this change will have. Those that are adamant about adblockers have other methods than browser extensions, and those that have never cared won’t care now.

        > You don’t compete with Google by being Google, you compete with Google by being yourself.

        You compete with Google by challenging their business model, a thing Google’s lapdog Mozilla has never done, and never will do. Brave does.

        > Extension APIs are not browser code, they’re extension code.

        Extension APIs are provided within the browser, not within extensions.

        > developers say Mozilla still allows them to do more.

        And this “more” consists of tiny additional options that even Vivaldi can easily replicate (side tabs) etc.

        > UBlock Origin in particular can do more today on Firefox than on Chromium/Chrome, according to it’s developer, who a few years ago was a Chrome user primarily and first developed his extension for Chrome. I would imagine he’s a Firefox user now.

        Chrome will kill off uBlock Origin, so this is to be expected.

        > Their independence has also allow Mozilla to draw a line in the sand and publicly say they will not adopt some aspects of Google’s Manifest v3

        Oh, I’m afraid they will adopt it, lest they break with the original idea behind WebExtensions (to make the porting of Chrome extensions as easy as possible). And again, the missing features like adblockers can be replicated differently (built-in adblockers, Pi-Hole), no incentive to switch to Firefox.

        > Isn’t everyone’s EME DRM coming from the same source? Does Brave get it from somewhere else? I doubt they do.

        The fact that Mozilla has to rely on Google’s DRM proves that they are no even remotely as independent as they claim to be, end of story.

        > Brave is trying to *become* the ad-company by replacing the ads that websites choose to run with ads that Brave is being paid for,

        Except that Brave’s ads, contrary to Google ads, are privacy-respecting (as they are being served locally), and grant users their fair share via BAT. Brave attempts to revolutionize the way ads are being served, IMHO for the better. Brave ads are also non-intrusive by nature, as they are delivered via system notification instead of being inserted into the website itself.

        > and only gives revenue back to the websites from if the websites specifically contact Brave and ask for it

        Of course you have to partner with Brave? How else do you think that can possibly work, pal? Needless to say, the total number of platforms / individuals working with Brave has grown exponentially already, as the model is highly attractive for all involved parties (users have a monetary incentive to allow ads instead of blocking them, publishers and advertisers can finally serve ads without more and more users blocking them and lowering their income).

        > It’s not scalable as an industry standard

        The browser market is an oligopoly, so I take that one with a grain of salt. It’s not like you’d suddenly have countless partners even if one or two browsers aside from Brave started adopting Brave’s model.

        > And Brave users online note it *a lot*. It seems very important to them for some reason…

        Yes, because totalitarian-minded people actively spied on Eich and sniffed out anything they could in order to learn that he had privately donated(!) to people they didn’t like. Would you mind showing me your financial transactions? Maybe I find something I don’t like in there, and then I make a big deal out of it online… That’s kind of a low blow, I hope you do not dispute that in earnest. Mozilla deserves all the flak they get over the “Eich incident”.

      18. Samanto Hermes said on January 24, 2020 at 2:26 am
        Reply
      19. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:08 pm
        Reply

        > Firefox is developed completely independently- every line of code. Every update. Every everything
        That’s not true, Firefox is dependent on the Chromium codebase, as can be seen on Bugzilla.

    2. Less Izmore said on January 20, 2020 at 5:27 pm
      Reply

      You’re advocating using an “enhanced privacy” browser (Brave) who’s business model not only tracks its users so deeply that they are able to setup revenue shares with those users based on tracking their online habits to an absolute fair-the-well, but then the browser owners additionally are necessarily privy to those user’s personal and financial information to effect that said revenue sharing transaction.
      Way to go! Isn’t it enough the tech giants have us all pretty well bent over, like it or not, without those bent over users further spreading their hinder parts and announcing “come and get it”, as you’re on about. At the very least, they must find a way to effect the transactions anonymously. Same with Mozzilla and their VPN plans. Lacking that the net results are less privacy, not more.

      The “fundamental issue” of the internet is that it is legal to track users for whatever reason beyond that absolutely essential for getting criminals and keeping the peace.
      This tracking user’s every digital breath and heartbeat like they are the owned chattel of the tech giants and ISPs is what needs to end.
      They can make money by showing generic ads such that print and broadcast media has done for millennia, or many decades respectively.

      1. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 6:03 pm
        Reply

        @Less Izmore

        > You’re advocating using an “enhanced privacy” browser (Brave) who’s business model not only tracks its users so deeply that they are able to setup revenue shares with those users based on tracking their online habits to an absolute fair-the-well, but then the browser owners additionally are necessarily privy to those user’s personal and financial information to effect that said revenue sharing transaction.

        I think you are grossly misinformed, Brave ads are being served locally, relevant data is never sent back to the Brave company, the publishers, or any other middle man:

        https://marketingland.com/privacy-centric-browser-brave-launches-its-twist-on-display-ads-259895

        I quote from the article I linked to:

        “What’s the ad model and revenue structure? Brave Ads are served only to users that opt-in to the Brave Rewards program and agree to see ads. When users view ads, they accumulate Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), a blockchain-based system. The Brave browser can monitor users’ browsing and attention behavior anonymously – the data lives locally only and isn’t passed back to Brave, publishers, advertisers or any middle-men.”

        > The “fundamental issue” of the internet is that it is legal to track users for whatever reason beyond that absolutely essential for getting criminals and keeping the peace.

        You see, websites need to be funded in some way, provided they are being served to you for free (not being subscription-based). The only way to achieve this is ads, and ads only make sense when they are targeted towards your interests (everything else would make no sense). So unless you want the web to be a gated community where you have to pay to enter a website, you need ads. Brave attempts to reform the current system by making the ads privacy-friendly and by granting users their fair share via BAT (users currently do not profit from ads in any way).

        > They can make money by showing generic ads such that print and broadcast media has done for millennia, or many decades respectively.

        Won’t realistically happen. You either accept a model similar to that proposed by Brave or you accept the gated community paid-for-per-website Internet.

      2. Less Izmore said on January 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        “You see, websites need to be funded in some way, provided they are being served to you for free (not being subscription-based). The only way to achieve this is ads, and ads only make sense when they are targeted towards your interests (everything else would make no sense).”

        As I said in my previous last sentence. “They can make money by showing generic ads such that print and broadcast media has done for millennia, or many decades respectively.”
        Your ignorance of how people were fed targeted ads prior to the internet is showing. Targeted ads then, as well as today still, were/are venue based. And yes, they still make sense. Automotive programs/sites get ads for motor oil and additives and such like. Further, it makes no sense to isolate everyone by only showing those things that are of intense interest to them to the exclusion of all else. Socially, you risk creating dull, ignorant, maladjusted loners lacking the ability to have a conversation on any subject other than their pin-headed interests.
        Your response puts me in mind of a particular generic TV broadcast — Preparation-H ad in the times before the internet. I don’t now, nor have I ever had hemorrhoids, but if I ever do I’ll know what likely to use for it.
        You’re obviously a true believer to offer the false either/or choice of “Brave” or “We’re all going to die”.
        The Brave model “Won’t realistically happen.”

      3. Iron Heart said on January 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm
        Reply

        @Less Izmore

        > As I said in my previous last sentence. “They can make money by showing generic ads such that print and broadcast media has done for millennia, or many decades respectively.”

        As I said, it won’t realistically happen.

        > Your ignorance of how people were fed targeted ads prior to the internet is showing.

        I am not ignorant towards that; I am pointing out that the Internet has the potential of targeting ads much better and that this potential won’t go unused, like it or not. Also, since you have very recently spread gross FUD regarding the Brave browser, I am not sure whether or not you can claim the “you are just ignorant” high ground at all.

        > You’re obviously a true believer to offer the false either/or choice of “Brave” or “We’re all going to die”. The Brave model “Won’t realistically happen.”

        It doesn’t take a “true believer” to understand that the Internet is heading towards the alternative I explained above. The arms race between adblockers and publishers, born out of a defective advertising model that puts users last, is not sustainable at all and is in dire need for a sustainable solution. And yes, Brave is gonna happen for sure: https://www.publish0x.com/cryptobabbles/brave-browser-now-most-frequently-downloaded-web-browser-jap-xddmxn

      4. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:20 pm
        Reply

        > Socially, you risk creating dull, ignorant, maladjusted loners lacking the ability to have a conversation on any subject other than their pin-headed interests.
        Nice capacitism by proxy towards autism there.

      5. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:21 pm
        Reply

        Errata: I wanted to say “ableism” rather than “capacitism”

      6. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:24 pm
        Reply

        Erratum*

      7. Sue said on January 21, 2020 at 2:27 am
        Reply

        @Less you are the one who is both ignorant and uniformed. You are just parroting nonsense. I too trust Brave, everything is opt-in unlike ff. I’ve no interest in BAT but then they don’t force it on anyone.

        If you bothered to read up, for example all their conversations regarding privacy enhancements on github, you might have more of a clue. But this is the internet and people feel the need to comment about things they have no clue about.

    3. notanon said on January 20, 2020 at 10:13 pm
      Reply

      Brave???

      ROTFLMAO!

      Brave, the browser that forces you to watch THEIR ads, LOL.

      Brave, the browser that pushes a WORTHLESS crypto to try to con people into using it.

      Brave, another wannabe Chromium clone that’s not even as good a Google Chrome.

      Brave, who’s CEO got mad at Dissenter for using it’s open source code, because the Dissenter browser stripped all the EVIL parts of Brave & created a better browser than Brave.

      Brave, the current fad for retards, who still use a Chromium based browser, while the Sword of Damocles (Manifest v. 3) hangs over their head, waiting for Google’s impending implementation.

      @Iron Heart, I don’t know about your heart, but you clearly lack a brain.

      1. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 7:52 am
        Reply

        @notanon

        Oh, the Pro-Mozilla [Editor: please remain polite] is back at it again, color me surprised.

        > Brave, the browser that pushes a WORTHLESS crypto to try to con people into using it.

        It’s not worthless, and contrary to the evil stuff in Firefox, it is fully opt-in instead of opt-out. Meaning you have to consciously decide to use it.

        > Brave, another wannabe Chromium clone that’s not even as good a Google Chrome.

        It’s better than Chrome in many aspects, for one, it will still have a working adblocker in the coming years while Chrome won’t have any,

        > Brave, who’s CEO got mad at Dissenter for using it’s open source code, because the Dissenter browser stripped all the EVIL parts of Brave & created a better browser than Brave.

        Seeing which people actually use Dissenter, I can fully understand why Brendan Eich is not too supportive of their effort. I rest my case.

        > Brave, the current fad for retards,

        A growing fad, mind you, while Firefox keeps being flushed down the toilet by many users.

        > who still use a Chromium based browser,

        The best browser (Chromium), minus all the Google spyware, is Brave.

        > while the Sword of Damocles (Manifest v. 3) hangs over their head, waiting for Google’s impending implementation.

        As I have already pointed out above, Brave’s built in adblocker doesn’t use the the webRequest API Google intends to cripple, at all. It will continue to function as it is not dependent on it, the only adblockers that will die are third party ones like uBlock origin, which – by their very nature – have to rely on extension APIs.

        > Iron Heart, I don’t know about your heart, but you clearly lack a brain.

        My brain tends to take a hit when I am reading your bullshit, yes.

      2. ShintoPlasm said on January 21, 2020 at 7:58 am
        Reply

        @notanon: Brave most definitely does not *force* you to watch any ads, as it’s a fully opt-in system. When Brave Rewards are disabled, no ads pop up – ever.

    4. Klaas Vaak said on January 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm
      Reply

      @ Iron Heart: Dissenter has gone a step further, taking the Brave code and removing all the BAT crap as well as some other privacy diminishing features.

      Another browser with one up on Brave is Ungoogled Chromium.

    5. ULBoom said on January 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      A significant portion of the spyware part of Chromium (e.g., web RTC, which cannot be disabled in the browser since mid 2018) is in the unmodifiable portion of the code. Chromium is only partially open source; Google owns Chromium.

      Brave sends requests through a proxy that strips off the data noted in Brave’s site. Good idea, about the only simple way to get some privacy in Chromia. Third party system level blockers/anti trackers that do the same thing are becoming more prevalent and are more powerful since they filter every app on a device, including the OS.

      For those using system level blockers, their browser choice is open. For those who aren’t and want decent privacy in the browser, FF ESR with config tweaks and an ad blocker is one choice; Brave, the Chromia choice. ESR is considerably different from the release version, faster and most of the junkware removed, still needs about:config mods, though.

      Either way, blocking all the tracking generated crap sent to your browser speeds the web dramatically.

  2. Addy T. said on January 20, 2020 at 2:58 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla’s attempt to “protect” its users has gone awry last year. I certainly do not need their help.

    I agree with the point that such cherry-picked, curated recommendations may have a negative impact on those that remain “in the shadows.” Why does Mozilla get to decide what’s the best adblocker or vidoe downloader? How to “beat” a heavily promoted extension?

    Such recommendations should be based on installs and ratings – ie user feedback. Deciding in some backroom which extensions are great and useful (“relevant”, as Mozilla puts it), and promoting them, reeks of the usual nanny-mentality. It’s like the government picking economic winners and losers, or good and bad opinions, instead of letting the market decide.

    1. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      ublock origin is recommended, nobody would dare to badmouth it.

      Which addons have you noticed being recommended as well that totally do not deserve it?

      1. Samanto Hermes said on January 21, 2020 at 10:33 pm
        Reply

        > nobody would dare to badmouth it
        Only Matt A. Tobin a.k.a. New Tobin Paradigm, LMAO.

  3. Tom Hawack said on January 20, 2020 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    First thing as far as I’m concerned it that, if I do have the ‘Recommended’ logo when applicable, on the other hand I lack the ‘This extension isn’t monitored by Mozilla. Make sure you trust the extension before you install it.’ warning with non-recommended extensions. This may be related to the fact that I block (system-wide) access to mozaws.net which is absolutely not required. I did make exceptions for kinto.dev.mozaws.net and kinto-ota.dev.mozaws.net because said to be related to certificate revocation list, but that’s all. That’s maybe the explanation.

    As far as extensions be recommended or not is of no interest for me. The example of CheckMyHTTPS (article screenshot) is a perfect example of an excellent add-on which is nevertheless not ‘Recommended’. Also, I remember an extension which had been labelled ‘recommended’ and which appeared to be peanuts (forgot which one though).

    Of course a mental natural process is to quickly consider that an extension which is not ‘Recommended’ would be ‘Not recommended’ which is a fast conclusion. Then comes in the message,

    ‘This extension isn’t monitored by Mozilla. Make sure you trust the extension before you install it.’

    And so what? Personally I investigate any application before installing it and then check it once installed when applicable. NEVER rely on recommendations, NEVER rely on comments (not that they may be biased but also mistaking), relying is a form of accepting mental assistance. Test, try by yourself.

    Back to the article. “Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?” to what the article answers ‘yes’ and to what I answer the same. But I wouldn’t expect all available add-ons to have been deeply investigated by the Mozilla team, it’s just impossible. There is the blocklist.xml regularly updated in the user’s profile, that’s the basics and sufficient to prevent serious problems. The remaining is, IMO, to be tested, checked by the user, free of any recommended or not consideration.

    1. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 3:54 pm
      Reply

      >And so what? Personally I investigate any application before installing it and then check it once installed when applicable. NEVER rely on recommendations, NEVER rely on comments (not that they may be biased but also mistaking), relying is a form of accepting mental assistance. Test, try by yourself.

      Fallacy by arrogance. I sure can as well extract the XPI (zipfile), review the underlying JS, check for connections being made after addon installation. But can your father, grandma, neighbour or gardener?

      >Also, I remember an extension which had been labelled ‘recommended’ and which appeared to be peanuts (forgot which one though).

      Let me guess, you didn’t report it despite being dangerous? I got a few fake ublock addons reported and booted of AMO servers. I did something about an issue i noticed, they listened.

      1. Tom Hawack said on January 20, 2020 at 4:24 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux, last things first : don’t tell me guessing builds your thoughts : the ‘Recommended extension’, later on appearing as craps that I mention above had been described here within a Ghacks article. Search for it, I’m out of time.

        Regarding a user’s effort to test, check add-ons (as well as anything else) if i mention it is is because i have average users in mind. Of course elder people or not, anyone in fact far from the computing world, are the exceptions which would validate recommendations, if it weren’t the fact recomandations are misleading.

        From there on, and to comply to your quest of necessary and sufficient conditions, I’ll reformulate : don’t bring credit to Mozilla recommendations and, if you do have the skill, test by yourself. Remember, grandma, grandpa, that dangerous add-ons are already blocked by Mozilla within your profile.

      2. Tom Hawack said on January 20, 2020 at 4:32 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux, “Let me guess, you didn’t report it despite being dangerous?”

        It’s this way : “https://www.ghacks.net/2019/04/09/firefox-recommended-extensions-program-announced/#comment-4407401”

        Beware of guesses my friend.

      3. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 4:55 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack
        ctrl+f: report
        0 results

        There are better easy to use tools too see the scope of permissions an addon wants to be granted:
        https://www.jeffersonscher.com/sumo/extensions.php?q=reload%20all%20tabs

        >Beware of guesses my friend.

        You say that a lot, but what does it imply? Hardly a JS source review is “guesswork”.

      4. Tom Hawack said on January 20, 2020 at 5:13 pm
        Reply

        @RenardRoux, in a hurry today. I should have linked to:

        ‘Mozilla recommended privacy extension had “phone-home” feature’
        “https://www.ghacks.net/2018/08/15/mozilla-recommended-privacy-extension-had-phone-home-feature/”

        You mention guessing, not me. Guesswork is another matter based rather on inductive thoughts. Nothing to do with arguing on the basis of a guess coming from nowhere unless acrimony.

  4. seeprime said on January 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla is losing money now. I suspect that this is just a cost saving move, since they no longer check each extension.

  5. Wolfie0827 said on January 20, 2020 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    I totally ignore the Recommended rating, I read the docs, reviews, and what I can find on the web as well as checking source since I only install open source.

  6. bevode said on January 20, 2020 at 4:26 pm
    Reply

    a few days ago I took the decision to switch to ungoogled chromium, with some modifications and my personal extensions for the newtab, because I’m more and more disappointed with firefox.

    and unfortunately I don’t trust the existing publisher for chromium based

    however I had joined firefox with its version 3, for me their choice of forcing the hand of the users repulses me me who had chosen them for the freedom that it brought me (blocked and locked function, telemetry in all directions).

    1. Klaas Vaak said on January 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm
      Reply

      @bevode: what don’t you trust about the Ungoogled Chromium publisher?

  7. RenardRoux said on January 20, 2020 at 4:28 pm
    Reply

    Firefox is nowhere near as bad as these extreme black and white thinkers make it want to look like:
    https://twitter.com/GossiTheDog/status/1217792922562826240

    It was safe from the crypt32.dll bug before it ever was discovered in Windows. Unlike Chrome…

  8. Anonymous said on January 20, 2020 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    Martin: ”– it may also lead to less extensions being developed or maintained for Firefox because of it.”

    It’s likely as you said.

  9. Albuquerque said on January 20, 2020 at 5:55 pm
    Reply

    I don’t know what’s going on at Mozilla, but it looks like since around 2017, they’ve been on a roll for bad decisions that start to spell the death of Firefox and Mozilla as a whole.

    Good riddance, they butchered their own browser so I don’t really think I will miss Firefox when it’s gone.

  10. Paul(us) said on January 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm
    Reply

    Indeed I also think that less extensions will being not only developed but also less extensions will be correctly maintained as they should and as much I would like to have the add-on Tabmix back, I am quit sure about thinking that I prefer a well maintained extension.
    Its just like the Firefox browser who has been updated today to the 72.02 version for a reason and not just for the fun of a higher number.

  11. basicuser said on January 20, 2020 at 7:19 pm
    Reply

    Now you: What is your take on the recommended extensions system?

    Just nudging all the dogies into the ol’ Mozilla corral.

  12. Sigh said on January 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm
    Reply

    Martin Brinkmann:

    You let “Iron Heart” spam every Firefox-related post here with roughly the same comment. They often target specific people at Mozilla and push the viewpoint of one named ex-Mozilla person. How many more copies of their same comment do you plan to publish here? 100? 1000?

    Let me ask you this: Are you proud of the set of people who flock to every Mozilla-related post to spew negativity on a loop? Are you proud that Ghacks hosts their comments? Do you think the comments section on such posts is a vehicle for constructive discussion?

    I wish these wise reflections on moderation by Jeff Atwood were implemented at Ghacks imminently. Because they’ve taken a pretty dark turn.
    https://twitter.com/codinghorror/status/1052695596845256705
    https://blog.codinghorror.com/what-if-we-could-weaponize-empathy/

    1. Yuliya said on January 20, 2020 at 9:42 pm
      Reply

      What about the mozillians which are constantly harassing me for exposing mozilla over personal data theft?.. since 2018. Did those comments fly under your radar?

      1. Sigh said on January 22, 2020 at 11:37 pm
        Reply

        Yuliya: If they really are “harassing” you then I suggest you report that to the police or initiate legal action. Similarly if you believe that Mozilla engaged in some crime called “data theft” then talk to the police about it. If not then try to write your comments in a way that does not exaggerate.

        This is an impression I’ve gotten from reading Ghacks comments: You almost always comment unders texts about Mozilla/Firefox with complaints against Mozilla/Firefox, often with phrases like “data theft”.

        Is my impression correct? If not then I apologize and I’d like to hear your own view of your record of commenting under such posts here. But if it is correct then can you answer me this: Do you spend as much time writing complaints against all other software companies or sites that collect at least as much personal data in at least as objectionable ways as you perceive Mozilla/Firefox to do. If not then why not? Why do you with such fervor single out Mozilla/Firefox, which you seem to do (again, feel free to point out if I’m incorrect on that)?

      2. Yuliya said on January 24, 2020 at 12:39 pm
        Reply

        >You almost always comment unders texts about Mozilla/Firefox with complaints against Mozilla/Firefox, often with phrases like “data theft”.
        I find it odd that you know how much I “compain” about mozilla, and yet you seem to not understand why I do it yet. Regardless of the fact that I have stated this countless times in the past to angry mozillian mobs. How come you know I post so much about mozilla, yet you’re unable to tell what actually angers me? At this point it seems to me you’re just pissed every single time I post anything about mozilla and their horrible actions. Maybe go back and check other of my posts. You will surely find out why I am particularily annoyed about mozilla stealing personal user data.
        And yes, it was data theft. I don’t know how elese do you call copyig some ones’s data without their prior consent, or knowledge at all about your horrible actions.

      3. Moz said on January 24, 2020 at 8:56 pm
        Reply

        +Yuliya. Please, keep commenting.

      4. Sigh said on January 25, 2020 at 1:49 pm
        Reply

        Yuliya: “How come you know I post so much about mozilla, yet you’re unable to tell what actually angers me?”

        The answer is very simple. I come here to read the application reviews and the tech news. I look for the comments for specific on-topic discussion. Sometimes there are great such discussions going on. But there are also commenters who systematically go off-topic into general complaints against this or that company or some other favorite hobby horse of theirs. In your case it very easy to spot that you have a thing for off-topic complaining about Mozilla. I suggest you take that to some tech politics subreddit if it is hobby you want to pursue. After noticing your pattern I nowadays very quickly parse comments written by you and skip ahead when I detect they’re a repeat of your regular complaints.

        Because I’m not interested in Mozilla politics but more importantly becayse I think you’re making on-topic discussion here harder to follow with your Mozilla politics spam.

        “And yes, it was data theft.”

        What did the police say when you reported it?

    2. Bobby Phoenix said on January 21, 2020 at 12:14 am
      Reply

      This comment isn’t monitored by Ghacks. Make sure you trust the comment before you reply to it.

    3. Anonymous said on January 21, 2020 at 12:28 am
      Reply

      You realize that your call to censor “Endless Contrarianism” everywhere (a corporate wet dream) means that the Mozilla community should no longer be allowed either to spit all the time on their competitors (like Chrome, Brave, Edge…) whenever they do things differently ? But those competitors often deserve the flak they get from Mozillians, and Mozilla often deserves the flak they receive from their disappointed users too, especially since they show no sign of inflecting back to their old trustworthy self.

      1. Sigh said on January 22, 2020 at 11:42 pm
        Reply

        Hi Anonymous, my comment was about a number of people who not simply make a specific objection to Mozilla/Firefox under some specific text here. No, I was talking about people who systematically grind roughly the same axe under every single such text. At length and with fervor.

        Perhaps they’re just very, very, very, very angry att Mozilla and haven’t found any other way that to endlessly express that anger in comments here. That’s very unfortunate. But here’s the rub: Why should Ghacks host those comments? What’s the point, other than creating a soup of predictable negativity that all of us who read Ghacks has to wade through only to get to some comments that engage with the specifics of the text?

        There is of course zero chance that anyone from Mozilla will come and read the negative comments here. So again, what’s the point. Other than overheating negative emotions?

    4. Stan said on January 21, 2020 at 1:13 am
      Reply

      Oh dear the MozCo Thought Police earning badges again ?

      The only thing that’s taken a dark turn is Mozilla leadership. At the very top.

      @The ‘set of people’ you refer to are likely long time Firefox users; we used to be the Community, and evidently know darn site more about the ruination of what was once a great browsing experience than you do.

      1. Sigh said on January 22, 2020 at 11:46 pm
        Reply

        Hi Stan. I’ve used Firefox daily for around 10 years, but I’m no expert and I’m sure you know a few things about it that I don’t. But I do know this: not every software will fit everyone. Some software will change over time so that what was once a fit for some users is no longer, while other users come to like it more. I still like Firefox enough to use it, I’ve found ways to work around some changes I didn’t like.

        But this I don’t get: Those that so fervently dislike Firefox as it has become, why not just use another browser and be done with it? What’s the point of writing these repeated negative comments at Ghacks? What good can come from that?

      2. Stan said on January 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm
        Reply

        “What’s the point of writing these repeated negative comments at Ghacks?”

        Before it’s too late, the removal of Mitchell Baker and all her gang?
        To her Firefox is just a revenue generator to finance their agenda.
        @Look up the description of a Cult…….. Free thought is not tolerated, CONTROL is.

      3. Sigh said on January 23, 2020 at 9:44 pm
        Reply

        Hi again Stan.

        “Before it’s too late, the removal of Mitchell Baker and all her gang?”

        I know there is some sort of disagreement over the Mozilla CEO but I’m not particularly interested in that topic. I don’t have to care about that to say this though: there is absolutely zero chance that you and others writing negative comments about that tech politics topic here on Ghacks will have any impact whatsoever in the real world. It is not as if the Mozilla CEO is reading any of these comments. I doubt anyone at Mozilla reads them, I mean if one Mozilla employee did read one months ago they’d quickly get a feel for the kind of emotions that are bubbling and would probably stay far away after that.

        The only people reading all those emotionally venting comments are two groups of individuals: (1) those others who spend the time writing them and feeling the feeling of anger while writing them and (2) those like me who used to love reading Ghacks for specific software related news and reviews and glancing through the comments for more specific tips and software talk. I write used to because nowadays one has to wade through a lot of high pitched emotional comments to get to the on topic and constructive software discussions here. To me it is no different from spam, repetitive and unwanted and almost all the time veering off topic or over the top.

        I’m sorry that Martin Brinkmann has decided that hosting such spam is what he wants to do. I guess I’ll wait for change a little while longer and after that look for software discussion elsewhere.

      4. Stan said on January 24, 2020 at 5:05 pm
        Reply

        Some sort of disagreement !!
        It’s all over the web, ‘discussions’ about the the Red Queen and her silly haircut, Mozilla needs someone who gives a toss about Firefox and it’s users not a self styled ‘charismatic leader’ leading a devious controlling Cult.
        But do go on it’s fascinating…

      5. Sigh said on January 25, 2020 at 1:52 pm
        Reply

        Stan: “red queen”, “silly haircut” …
        I have no idea what you’re talking about. But it is clearly off-topic.

      6. Stan said on January 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm
        Reply

        “Hi again Stan ”

        10 posts saying the same thing, did MozCo give you a free T-Shirt ?

      7. Sigh said on January 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm
        Reply

        Stan: “did MozCo give you a free T-Shirt”

        You seem to think take some opposite side to you in some weird struggle over Mozilla politics. But I don’t care about that. I just want the Ghacks comments to be less cluttered with such off-topic spam. If anyone wants to give me a T-Shirt that says “this guy likes Ghacks discussion to stay on-topic” then I’d be happy to accept.

    5. Anonymous said on January 21, 2020 at 5:25 am
      Reply

      The only one needing to be banned is you “Sigh”.

      1. Sign said on January 22, 2020 at 11:46 pm
        Reply

        Why?

    6. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 8:10 am
      Reply

      @Sigh

      What’s up with these calls for censorship recently? How about freedom of speech? Maybe you should move to a country where speech is harshly controlled, so that your call for more censorship would gain some legitimacy over there.

      Secondly, I am not always posting the same comment. Thirdly, my comments are always based on provable facts, they are not trolling. I think my comments being based on actual facts is what bothers you the most, especially since the facts are inconvenient to you (which is the real reason why you want them censored).

      And as always, this still holds true: Don’t like it, don’t read it.

      1. Sigh said on January 22, 2020 at 11:55 pm
        Reply

        Freedom of speech doesn’t entitle you to comment on any particular website, see https://xkcd.com/1357/ . Do you agree? If yes then why do you invoke freedom of speech talk in your comment?

        “I am not always posting the same comment.”

        I’d say you are, when it comes to Firefox/Mozilla. But I’d be happy to get my impression corrected. Can you paste a concatenation in a reply here the first comment you’ve made on the last 10 Firefox/Mozilla related texts here on Ghacks? That would give us some data to discuss.

        I also would like to ask what your goal is. I mean, you clearly spend quite some time writing those comments. What good do you think they’ll lead to? Is it mostly a way for you to vent your negative emotions towards Mozilla? Or do you truly think that your comments will have some constructive effect in some way?

      2. Iron Heart said on January 23, 2020 at 8:49 am
        Reply

        @Sigh

        > Freedom of speech doesn’t entitle you to comment on any particular website, see (childish bullshit cartoon). Do you agree?

        It’s Martin Brinkmann’s business which comments he allows and which he does not, getting him to do anything is nothing you can achieve or should ask for. It’s none of your business. He is active here, he isn’t sleeping or something. But in general, I’d say I am entitled to say anything that isn’t incitement of violence, political extremism, or severe breach of human dignity. Preventing me from saying anything that doesn’t belong to these categories is clearly unjustified censorship, as it’s just silencing a differing opinion in this case, rather than keeping the peace.

        > If yes then why do you invoke freedom of speech talk in your comment?

        Because none of my comments are harmful in any way, you not liking them or disagreeing with their content them doesn’t count as harmful.

        > I’d say you are, when it comes to Firefox/Mozilla. But I’d be happy to get my impression corrected.

        Then read them again, you are clearly wrong. My comments are critical of Mozilla, but it’s not always the same comment, that’s just a lie you deliberately invented. ANd continue to perpetrate.

        > Can you paste a concatenation in a reply here the first comment you’ve made on the last 10 Firefox/Mozilla related texts here on Ghacks?

        No, if you or anyone else are interested of former comments of mine, you know where to find them. I take none of it back, in case you ask.

        > I also would like to ask what your goal is.

        I am exposing a company that I view as deceitful, because they claim to be something they are clearly not (defenders of the free web, independent from Google, privacy-respecting). I am also pointing out that the browser is failing in terms of market share, you can check this via Statcounter and verify if you don’t believe me. Both are obvious and provable. I do not have any goal aside from exposing them, anyone can draw their own conclusions from my comments. Contrary to your (paranoid, totalitarian minded) world view, not everyone needs to have a planned out “agenda”.

        > I mean, you clearly spend quite some time writing those comments.

        Yes, because I usually also paste (and quote from) my sources, and because I like to add some depth and explanation to my comments.

        > What good do you think they’ll lead to?

        I don’t have an agenda, but I’d like to ask: What do you think your calls for censorship will lead to? None of the replies agreed with you. XD

        > Is it mostly a way for you to vent your negative emotions towards Mozilla?

        Mozilla needs to be exposed for what they are. Obviously I disagree with their business tactics and the people in charge, but that doesn’t change the facts anyway. And yes, my comments are based on facts.

        > Or do you truly think that your comments will have some constructive effect in some way?

        Maybe some people will see Mozilla for what they are, maybe not. Don’t know, don’t care. I also think you do not know what “constructive” means at all. Being “constructive” is not equivalent with being “positive”, as long as my comments are based on facts, they have a constructive core by definition. It’s also not very “constructive” to call for censorship the moment you disagree with something.

        I am done with you. I dislike and would like to avoid totalitarian-minded people who call out for censorship, for no reason other than “disagreement”.

      3. Sigh said on January 23, 2020 at 10:04 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart:
        “I’d say I am entitled to say anything that isn’t incitement of violence, political extremism, or severe breach of human dignity. Preventing me from saying anything that doesn’t belong to these categories is clearly unjustified censorship”

        Neither of us is entitled to anything here. That’s simple legal fact. It is up to Martin Brinkmann, which was who I directed my first comment to.

        I get that you very strongly want to write about company politics within Mozilla. But why here? Why can’t you take that to some subreddit dedicated to that topic instead? Why can’t you stay on topic in these comment sections and simply discuss the *specific* software review or news that the article is about. In this case it is if there’s now in effect a two-tiered add-ons system. You seem uninterested to discuss *that* topic. Instead you veer off (like many times before) onto your own axe grinding against Mozilla in general and some people within it.

        Think of it like this: there are other people who have a view opposite of yours on tech politics and on Mozilla company politics and personell politics. If they came here and wrote as much as you do about it the result would be even more off-topic flooding of the Ghacks comments section. It would be even more hard to filter through to the specific on-topic discussions.

        So, why can’t you stay on topic here and satisfy your wish for politics talk somewhere else instead?

        “I am exposing a company …”

        How may more times do you plan to add your “exposing” of Mozilla at Ghacks? 100? 1000? When do you feel that you’ve exposed enough?

        “my comments are based on facts”

        Many people like to think that their political emotions and opinions are simply “based on facts”. But they’re clearly not, every opinion also involves values and valuing different actions and behaviours. It would take a much longer discussion to get in depth on that, but this is very clearly not the place for that. Again, take that to a tech politics subreddit if it is a hobby that you want to pursue.

        “call out for censorship, for no reason other than “disagreement”.”

        Not what I’m doing. I don’t even know if I disagree with you or not about Mozilla, I haven’t spent time enough to even have an opinion on the particulars you repetitively write about. The point is not your opinion, it is that you spam it in an off-topic way. I’d like to see the end of your off-topic copy-pasta spam here. That’s my only goal. But you seem to instead repeatedly assume that I must disagree with you about some tech politics discussion. Sorry, I’m just not interested in it. I’m here because of the Ghacks articles and would like to see discussion on topic to them. That’s all.

        To Martin Brinkmann: I ask you again to turn on the spam filter, so to speak. Please.

      4. Iron Heart said on January 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm
        Reply

        @Sigh

        > Neither of us is entitled to anything here. That’s simple legal fact.

        Cool. I was pointing out though that Martin Brinkmann still has common sense, and therefore doesn’t censor stuff just because of mere dislike / disagreement.

        > But why here?

        Why not here?

        > Why can’t you take that to some subreddit dedicated to that topic instead?

        The Firefox subreddit bans differing opinions for no other reason than being critical of Mozilla. You would feel right at home there (heavy censorship!), but there is no reason for me to go there. The fanboy temple can do without me.

        > Instead you veer off (like many times before) onto your own axe grinding against Mozilla in general and some people within it.

        It seems you very much like the word “axe grinding”. :….D Well, I have news for you: I am not even angry towards Mozilla, they are lying and deceitful, and they would still be lying and deceitful even if I were totally okay with them (in this case out of naivety). My feeling doesn’t change their actions at all, and it doesn’t change the content of my posts either. If you want me to write nice things about Mozilla, Mozilla should start doing nice things for its users.

        > there are other people who have a view opposite of yours on tech politics and on Mozilla company politics and personell politics.

        Yes, and most of them don’t really know anything about Mozilla at all, they only see the shiny surface and not the corruption below it. I do not take these people seriously at all, but sure they do exist, like many other uninformed people and idiots out there.

        > How may more times do you plan to add your “exposing” of Mozilla at Ghacks? 100? 1000? When do you feel that you’ve exposed enough?

        It’s an ongoing process, because idiots and uninformed people who can’t (yet) see through the shiny surface continue to show up here and post their nonsense.

        > Many people like to think that their political emotions and opinions are simply “based on facts”.

        Yes, because they are. I have actual sources for my claims, they are provable.

        > But they’re clearly not, every opinion also involves values and valuing different actions and behaviours.

        Truth is relative etc. etc. I know this nonsense already. Show me your stats that can counter my stats and then we’ll talk, but not before.

        > It would take a much longer discussion to get in depth on that,

        Hopefully we are spared from this going forward.

        > Again, take that to a tech politics subreddit if it is a hobby that you want to pursue.

        Exposing them is necessary, it’s not a hobby. The privacy of people online (or the rest of it) is a serious issue and not some leasure activity. Sure, I write about it in my free time, but the topic itself is serious and not just some “hobby” nonsense.

        > I don’t even know if I disagree with you or not about Mozilla, I haven’t spent time enough to even have an opinion on the particulars you repetitively write about.

        Well that means you do not care enough regarding the credibility of Mozilla, and in principle I wouldn’t care about whether or not you care, but you insist on censoring me here (thus showing that you are not at all interested in my comments), so I kindly reply to your nonsense anyway.

        > I’d like to see the end of your off-topic copy-pasta spam here.

        It’s not “copy and paste”, please do not continue to perpetrate the malicious lie that I am posting the same comment over and over again, as it’s obviously not true, and anyone who has the ability to read already knows it.

        > That’s my only goal.

        Then I suggest that you boldly go where no man has gone before, because that is a goal that will definitely never be achieved. I won’t stop exposing Mozilla, and Martin Brinkmann won’t censor me just because one out of hundred readers disagreeing with me begs for it.

        > But you seem to instead repeatedly assume that I must disagree with you about some tech politics discussion.

        Well, you try to reduce the content of my comments to mere “axe grinding”, implying that I am just a somewhat angry nutter, in turn implying that there is no real substance to my comments at all. That’s disagreement as far as I’m concerned. Or a severe case of ignorance, choose one.

        > Sorry, I’m just not interested in it.

        Then why care? Because you don’t like the content? Don’t like it, don’t care about it –> Don’t read it. It’s that easy.

        > To Martin Brinkmann: I ask you again to turn on the spam filter, so to speak. Please.

        Maybe the “spam filter” hits you for a start, “censor the censor” so to speak. Your embarrassing whining won’t achieve anything, nobody here agrees with you.

      5. Sigh said on January 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm
        Reply

        “Martin Brinkmann still has common sense, and therefore doesn’t censor stuff just because of mere dislike / disagreement.”

        Not what I’m doing. I don’t even know if I disagree with you or not about Mozilla, I haven’t spent time enough to even have an opinion on the particulars you repetitively write about. The point is not your opinion, it is that you spam it in an off-topic way. I’d like to see the end of your off-topic copy-pasta spam here. That’s my only goal. But you seem to instead repeatedly assume that I must disagree with you about some tech politics discussion. Sorry, I’m just not interested in it. I’m here because of the Ghacks articles and would like to see discussion on topic to them. That’s all.

        “Why not here?”

        Because this is a site that posts reviews of specific applications and specific tech news?

        ” If you want me to write nice things about Mozilla, Mozilla should start doing nice things for its users.”

        You’re missing the point. I want you to stay on topic here and take the off-topic stuff to some other tech politics subreddit where you and others who want to spend a lot of time on that can do your thing.

        “The Firefox subreddit bans differing opinions”

        There are many other subreddits. You can even create your own subreddit.

        “Yes, and most of them don’t really know anything about Mozilla at all”

        Missing the point. They would of course similarly say *you* don’t know anything about Mozilla. You could probably spend 10 hours every day writing long back and forths about Mozilla with them. Trading facts and stats. But the point is, what would Ghacks be if they came here and emulated your behaviour? Or if other similarly wrote as many anti-Microsoft, Or Pro-Google or whatever comments here? The comment section would be completely flooded with off-topic stuff. Avoiding outcomes like that is the point of Atwood’s moderation advice that I linked to.

        “Exposing them is necessary, it’s not a hobby. The privacy of people online (or the rest of it) is a serious issue and not some leasure activity. Sure, I write about it in my free time, but the topic itself is serious and not just some “hobby” nonsense.”

        Why is that necessary? Why is it more important than any number of other things you can do to try to (on your view) make the world better with regard to privacy? If you really think that you’re pursuing an important cause here, a non-hobby, then could you give me some evidence for why you think this particular activity (all the time you’ve spent writing comments to “expose” Mozilla here) is the best way to bring about change? See https://www.effectivealtruism.org/ and the many resources there on empirical research into actions for effective change. Has anyone at Mozilla reached out to you and said they changed their mind based on your writing? Seems the only effects are (1) is whatever effect you writing them has on you (hobby!) and (2) you spamming out on-topic discussion here (bad!).

        “It’s not “copy and paste””

        Regardless, it is systematically off-topic. That’s the problem.

        “implying that I am just a somewhat angry nutter, in turn implying that there is no real substance to my comments at all.”

        You definitely have fervor, but that doesn’t make you a nutter and it is independent of if what you write is correct or not. The problem, again, is that it is off-topic.

        “Don’t read it. It’s that easy.”

        Why does Gmail have a spam filter instead of leaving all user to apply the “Don’t read it” rule? Same answer: off-topic spam is time-consumingly distracting, it worsens the signal to noise ratio.

      6. Stan said on January 23, 2020 at 4:29 pm
        Reply

        Do MozCo award you a badge for every post, is ghacks your designated forum?

    7. Frank Meier said on January 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm
      Reply

      The use of “they” as a singular pronoun and the call for censorship of unpleasant opinions tell me all I need to know about the current state of Mozilla supporters.

      1. Sigh said on January 22, 2020 at 11:58 pm
        Reply

        @Frank Meier, not sure if I’d call myself a Mozilla supporter but I do use Firefox. I also use Chrome from time to time so I’m not all in on Mozilla applications or anything like that. I don’t know anything about “Iron heart” so why should I assume to know if that person prefers to be called “he” or “she” or something else? That’s why I used “they” as a catchall. What’s the problem with that?

        My comment doesn’t call for censorship of unpleasant opinions. It was more specific than that. It was about a certain pattern of very repeated axe grinding.

    8. Sebas said on January 21, 2020 at 9:36 pm
      Reply

      @Sigh Oh yes that’s always so funny. Censorship when someone says something you don’t like and you are even so brutal to call to Martin to censor. Mind your own business man.

      You’re thoughts are dangerous. Very dangerous. But you still have the right to express them. You see that is the difference. But no, you won’t see it. You won’t rest until the people with opposing views are silenced. But that will never happen.

      Good grief. It is you who is making ghacks net a dangerous place.

      1. Sigh said on January 23, 2020 at 12:01 am
        Reply

        @Sebas: I didn’t call for censorship when “someone says something you don’t like”. It was more specific than that. It was about a certain pattern of very repeated axe grinding.

        “and you are even so brutal to call to Martin to censor”
        Huh? It is Martin’s cite, who else should I direct me comment to? Martin is of course responsible for the kind of site he runs. Perhaps he wagers that high negativity comments will be good for the bottom line of the site ad-click-vise or perhaps he has some other reasoning, I don’t know. Would be interesting to hear nonetheless.

    9. Lord-Lestat said on January 22, 2020 at 12:17 pm
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      @Sigh and THIS is the reason WHY Mozilla is leftwing fascist – because the only kind of users Moz attracts today are leftwing fanatics.

      Mozilla and most of it’s user-base today are a lost cause, and everyone with at least half a brain has at least dumped that fascist ware or is in the process to dump it.

      Utterly sickening!

      1. Klaas Vaak said on January 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm
        Reply

        @Lord-Lestat: apart from bringing false politics into the discussion, you are polluting this thread with nonsense. There are better, more sane ways to get rid of your frustrations and/or to control them.

      2. Tom Hawack said on January 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm
        Reply

        @Lord-Lestat, I’m neither a fanatic nor a left-wing person, even less a conservative excentric yet I use Mozilla software since always, with satisfaction and also criticism. I cannot conceive establishing a relationship between products and political affinities. People want a browser which suits their needs and/or aspirations given the fashion parameter, and we all make our choices accordingly. By the way engineers of different companies don’t start bashing each other when they meet, that’s the lot of some excited users only, they are in competition but in a civilized way. If politics and religious debates are thrilling and/or informative by themselves I doubt they supervise the entirety of debates.

      3. Stan said on January 22, 2020 at 4:56 pm
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        And we all know where unbelievably he’s allowed carte blanche to do that…

      4. Sigh said on January 23, 2020 at 12:03 am
        Reply

        @Lord-Estat, I don’t see how any of what you replied engages with what I actually wrote. Do you have any reply to what I did write?

    10. ULBoom said on January 23, 2020 at 12:04 am
      Reply

      It’s better than it used to be except some of the oldy, moldy carping resurrected itself to rap your knuckles and go OT.

      Arguing about browsers is stupid, there are many varieties of the two choices available :)

  13. leland said on January 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm
    Reply

    This system has existed for a few years as there are several I use that have been listed this way. They work just fine and do what I need. I would guess this is more a case of not having the people to handle checking everything. As long as they don’t stop me from installing what I need that works for now…

  14. VioletMoon said on January 20, 2020 at 9:04 pm
    Reply

    Super simple for developers to have their extension(s) approved and listed as recommended–sort of a self-help guide:

    “May I suggest extensions to become Recommended?

    Yes. If there’s extension you feel should be Recommended, please email amo-featured [at] mozilla [dot] org with a link to its AMO listing page.”

    There is a reason for the “recommended” status:

    “Recommended extensions are curated extensions that meet the highest standards of security, functionality, and user experience. Firefox staff thoroughly evaluate each extension before it receives Recommended status.”

    So, no, there isn’t a two tiered extension add-on system at Mozilla unless one is to say the tiers are self-created. A developer can be undeniably lazy and not “apply” for the “recommended” status [in which case I wouldn’t want the extension anyway]; or the developer believes in himself and his code and is willing to take the extra step to ensure his users that the extension meets the rigid standards Mozilla imposes upon itself.

    Seriously, I would clean out all of the clutter in Extensions–if the developer didn’t request approval, then the extension isn’t offered. Period.

  15. Scott said on January 20, 2020 at 9:08 pm
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    There are known cases of “bad actor” browser plugins, on both Firefox and chromium. I personally don’t have the time or interest to check the source code of every extension I’m interested in. Considering the vast majority of useful extensions have potentially dangerous permissions, I’m all for a set of curated ones I don’t have to worry about.

    The “Recommended” program is actually a non-trivial factor in my choice to use Firefox over a chromium browser.

  16. notanon said on January 20, 2020 at 10:28 pm
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    At least Mozilla makes the effort to audit some of it’s web extensions offered in AMO.

    Google doesn’t care about it’s users, so it never audited any of it’s extension in the Chrome store.

    There are thousands of web extensions, as the article notes, there’s no way Mozilla or anyone else has the manpower to audit them all, so Mozilla checks a select amount of web extensions & vouches for their safety to users.

    Martin’s article somehow turns Mozilla’s benevolent gesture to it’s user base & tries to make it look “sinister” by suggesting that somehow warning users that web extensions could be dangerous is “scary”.

    This is the same kind of fearmongering used by the German state to implement authoritarian censorship on their population, so I’m not surprised that Martin thinks in this fashion. The German people have been brain washed into believing that Nazis are lurking everywhere, & only by giving the Angela Merkel & her cronies absolute power (4th reich) can Germany be saved.

    There’s no malevolence on Mozilla’s part, on the contrary, they are making an effort to make web extensions safer on Mozilla AMO (as opposed to Chrome who turns a blind eye, & says “not my problem”) AND warn users of the potential security risks involved in web extensions (that ghacks articles have mentioned for years).

    SMH.

    1. michael said on January 21, 2020 at 10:38 am
      Reply

      On the contrary, Google is making the system safer by applying the same rules to all, and working towards a system with the least amount of exploits and the highest amount of user freedom.

      A two-class-system is the worst, because it discriminated against the majority of extension developers.

    2. Anonymous said on January 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm
      Reply

      Notanon keeps expressing far right ideas here and now dares to compare Martin Brinkmann to a nazi just because he is german and wrote this completely legitimate and innocuous article. Smelly.

    3. Klaas Vaak said on January 22, 2020 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      @notanon: you need to find an alternative way to deal with your frustrations and hang-ups, instead of polluting this thread with your nonsense.

  17. albresc said on January 20, 2020 at 11:37 pm
    Reply

    Very happy to be one of the 4% of the entire Internet population using Firefox…
    Very happy to be one of the x% of the entire Internet population using uBlock Origin…
    Very happy to be able to choose what adds I want to see or not…
    Indeed, I care 0% of what add providers think…

    1. Jonas said on January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am
      Reply

      “add” is an abbreviation of “addition”, like “if you add two numbers…”
      “ad” is an abbreviation of “advertisement”, like “this browser is showing me too many ads…”

      The second one (ad) is the abbreviation you want.

  18. Allen said on January 21, 2020 at 5:29 am
    Reply

    Addons made Firefox a popular browser… until Mozilla made Firefox an unsafe “home” for addons.

    1. michael said on January 21, 2020 at 10:44 am
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      The firefox extension store is now basically dead.

      The hurdles too create a new extensions are too high and the potential reward is too low, because now you can’t reach the users anymore who live inside a walled garden of recommended extensions. All other extensions are now basically invisible.

  19. Fuzzi said on January 21, 2020 at 8:13 am
    Reply

    Don’t be so harsh. It’s recommended = checked by Mozilla. Nothing more.

  20. Anonymous said on January 21, 2020 at 8:40 am
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    Getting back to your question: Has Mozilla created a two-tier add-ons system?

    Yes, I think so. If I see 2 similar extensions, and one is recommended, I would use the recommended one.

    As people mentioned above, a recommended extension is not a guarantee the extension is not phoning home.

    Each extension’s page lists its permissions.
    Permission descriptions are listed here https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/permission-request-messages-firefox-extensions

    No permission is listed that grants the extension the right to phone home, or leak data, so obviously that can’t occur. ;) (subtle humor).
    Phoning home and leaking data is my major concern.

  21. John C. said on January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am
    Reply

    The thing that gets me is that when you go to the Firefox Recommended Extensions page (at this point containing a not-so-whopping 97 extensions), there isn’t much there that I’m really interested in. In effect, all Mozilla has really done (as described in this article) is to make it so that they don’t have to review as many extensions and then add a scare tactic to prevent the use of many, many excellent ones that are safe (along with those that aren’t.) This cuts back tremendously on the very thing that made Firefox such a hit in the first place. What am I using for my main browser at this point? Pale Moon. Love it.

  22. michael said on January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    This is a problem from the user-perspective, because obviously all non-monitored extensions are now associated with fear of being exploited by average users.

    Mozilla expects a level of responsibility by its users that is entirely unreasonable.

    It’s also paradoxical. Either users are able to differentiate, but then they don’t need a warning message. Or they aren’t, but then they aren’t able to act upon the message, except by dismissing all non-monitored extensions.

  23. Sebas said on January 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm
    Reply

    Lo and behold with Brave BAT I can contribute to ghacks.net. The best kept secret of Martin😁

    ghacks.net: “Certificated Brave developer” , according to Brave.

    1. Iron Heart said on January 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm
      Reply

      @Sebas

      I know. :D I think tipping Martin with BAT is more worthwhile than putting up with the standard gHacks ads. Welcome on board. Check out the Brave settings as well, some options are really neat.

      1. Sebas said on January 21, 2020 at 9:43 pm
        Reply

        @Iron heart: Isn’t it funny😂?

        And by the way thanks for your valuable contributions.

  24. albresc said on January 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm
    Reply

    @ Jonas:
    Thank you for the correction!

  25. John Fenderson said on January 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm
    Reply

    > What is your take on the recommended extensions system?

    I understand what they’re trying to do, but I think they’re doing it in completely the wrong way. They should not be disparaging extensions that they haven’t vetted, they should instead be playing up the benefits of their vetting. I’m also not on board with making AMO show only the vetted extensions by default.

    It seems to me that this is flirting with some of the types of behavior that makes “app stores” so objectionable.

  26. ULBoom said on January 21, 2020 at 5:45 pm
    Reply

    Not sure I’ve seen but a few Recommended Extensions I’d use. I disabled the extension promotion junk in FF anyway, somehow that yellow warning in AMO turned gray and the verbiage changed to
    “This is not a Recommended Extension. Make sure you trust it before installing.”

    Extensions I’ve been using for 10 years suddenly became dangerous? No.
    Extensions that are No. 1 in usage suddenly are best? No.

  27. zephyr said on January 24, 2020 at 6:54 am
    Reply

    Hi! I’m an addon developer, and I brought up a thread related to this over on Mozilla’s Discourse.

    https://discourse.mozilla.org/t/this-is-not-a-recommended-extension-make-sure-you-trust-it-before-installing/49059

    As a fairly new addon developer, I was worried that nobody would download my extension with the warning. Mozilla was responsive to that as you can see on the thread, and have been working to refine the message with some sort of A/B user tests.

    Further, they are monitoring both recommended and non-recommended extension download rates. When I asked if – overall – download rates were remaining steady for non-recommended extensions, their community manager Caitlin Neiman was kind enough to respond to my request and said:
    “Overall, they are – while install rates for Recommended Extensions have increased, install rates for non-Recommended Extensions have remained stable.”

    So – while I certainly have concerns (as well as a vested interest in the results) – they are monitoring this and I think they’re trying hard to make this work well. And numbers often speak as loudly as words.

    Also, I’d like to make a note about simply requesting recommended status as user VioletMoon had commented above. While it’s true anyone can request it, Mozilla also states that “the collection is intended to remain fairly fixed over time”. Given the current list has 97 extensions, that means you probably need to about one of the top 100 extensions in order to be recommended, and it is likely a bit of an involved process. Realistically, as a hobbyist the chances of attaining that level of quality are not great – and I’d like to think I can provide something of value without spending most of my waking hours on it. I hope you and others still consider giving extensions like mine a try even if they aren’t “recommended”.

    I’ve heard a lot of opinions from addon users here – but are there any other addon developers here that would like to chime in as well? Also – if anyone has serious concerns about this beyond some good ol’ venting and sharing of ideas – I’m guessing feedback to Mozilla through their Discourse will gain more traction.

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