Some users of the latest stable version of the Firefox web browser for Android have received a push notification by Mozilla itself. The notification links to this blog post on the Mozilla website in which the organization states that it has joined the StopHateForProfit coalition and asks its users to do the same. One of the goals of the campaign is to pressure Facebook into controlling certain content more tightly on the platform.
The user selection process is unclear, but it is possible that the notification is limited to users from the United States.
Firefox for Android installations include a setting called "Product and feature tips" that is enabled by default on new installations. It appears that Mozilla used the system to push the notification to user devices. Disabling the setting should prevent future messages, but some users claimed that they got the notification despite having set the option to off.
Another option is to block all notifications from the web browser, but that would block notifications the user wants to receive as well.
One of the core questions that needs to be addressed in the aftermath is whether browser makers should be allowed to use a browser's notification system, regardless of whether it is through push notifications, update notifications, or something else, for non-browser related content, regardless of that content.
Proponents might say that it is the company's browser and therefor in their right to use the system for that. The company obviously has to live with the consequences of its doing; users who dislike it may disable notifications altogether or even uninstall the browser.
Opponents may see it as advertisement, an attempt to push certain agendas, a trust issue, invasive, immoral or even as an abuse of power. They too, may be inclined to uninstall the browser or disable notifications, with the former being more likely than the latter.
Now You: Did Mozilla shoot itself in the foot once again? What is your take on this? Remember, no political or religious discussion in the comment section.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.