Firefox Suggest: Mozilla is testing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the United States

Firefox Suggest is a new custom search and sponsored suggestions feature of Mozilla's Firefox web browser. The feature is being tested on a limited number of Firefox installations in the United States currently.

Firefox Suggest displays suggestions when users type in the Firefox address bar. The feature may look like search suggestions on first glance, a feature that Firefox supported for a long while. Search suggestions use data retrieved from the search engine that is used to suggest queries to users. If you type wiki, suggestions may include wikipedia and wikileaks among others.

Suggestions from Firefox Suggest are not offered by the search engine that is used, but by Mozilla's Firefox browser. These suggestions are divided into non-commercial and sponsored suggestions. Mozilla's support page does not provide much insight on the feature:

[..] find information easily and get to where you want to go quicker

It is not clear, for instance, how suggestions are picked. It is possible that Mozilla's Pocket service is used as the data pool for suggestions, but Pocket is not mentioned once on the support page.

Mozilla reveals additional information about the sponsored suggestions of Firefox Suggest. These come from adMarketplace according to the support page. When users click on results, data is send through a proxy before it is shared with the partner. Only technical data is send.

When you see or click on a Firefox suggestion, Firefox sends technical data to our partner through a Mozilla-owned proxy service. This data does not include any personally identifying information and is only shared when you see or click on a Firefox suggestion.

Firefox sends us data such as the position, size and placement of content we suggest, as well as basic data about your interactions with Firefox’s suggested content. This includes the number of times suggested content is displayed or clicked.

How to disable Firefox Suggest

firefox suggest

You will spot Firefox Suggest results in the address bar immediately, as they are labeled as such. Firefox includes an option to turn the feature off (or on), but only if it is available.

Since it is experimental, there is a chance that the feature won't find its way into stable versions of Firefox for all users, regardless of region. To disable Firefox Suggest, do the following:

  1. Load about:preferences#search in the Firefox address bar; this opens the Search preferences.
  2. Scroll down to the section Search Suggestions.
  3. Check (to enable) or uncheck (to disable) Show Firefox Suggest in the address bar (suggested and sponsored results).

If you uncheck the box, Firefox Suggest suggestions won't be displayed anymore in the address bar.

Closing Words

It is too early to judge the quality of suggestions displayed by Firefox Suggest. Some Firefox users may like that the suggestions come from a difference source, but ultimately, it depends on the quality of suggestions. Others may dislike the feature because it includes sponsored results.  Firefox Suggest can be disabled in the settings to turn it off.

Mozilla continues to test new revenue sources, both inside Firefox and outside, to reduce the reliance on search engine deals. Firefox may display sponsored top tiles on the new tab page. Plans to launch the commercial offering Mozilla Privacy Pack leaked this week as well.

Now You: what is your take on suggestions, sponsored or not, in the address bar? (via Techdows)

Summary
Firefox Suggest: Mozilla is testing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the United States
Article Name
Firefox Suggest: Mozilla is testing custom search and sponsored suggestions in the United States
Description
Firefox Suggest is a new custom search and sponsored suggestions feature of Mozilla's Firefox web browser.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Paul(us) said on August 12, 2021 at 12:07 pm
    Reply

    When there is a clear possibility of deciding for yourself of which of the suggestions are valid for me this so I can still decide to use, or not use the non-commercial and/or sponsored suggestions. It could be a new useful feature.
    Next to that I do not want to lose the already available options.

  2. LaughingFox said on August 12, 2021 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    I won’t even criticize this. It is just a symptom of the overall mismanagement and cluelessness of their leadership. They must be desperate to finance their overpaid CEO at this point.

  3. Iron Heart said on August 12, 2021 at 2:17 pm
    Reply

    Wait a second, those are ads, right? Opt-out ads! They are also not locally generated, but run through a (supposedly) anonymized proxy, hehe.

    I don’t want to see any Firefox users criticizing Brave for its opt-in, local ads anymore. Brave’s ads also pay the user a share, what is the advantage of keeping the Firefox ads being enabled again? There is none for the user, hehe.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 12, 2021 at 3:30 pm
      Reply

      It is an experiment at this point. If it lands, it is probably opt-out, but it is too early to tell. It is also unclear how the (sponsored) suggestions are generated, unless you have a source on that.

      1. Iron Heart said on August 13, 2021 at 8:48 am
        Reply

        @Martin Brinkmann

        > It is also unclear how the (sponsored) suggestions are generated, unless you have a source on that.

        Unless Mozilla wants to do a Firefox update each time or use Brave’s model to introduce each new ad, it would make sense for them to distribute them from a remote server. If they were in fact using Brave’s model (downloading a non-personalized list of ads that are then locally picked by an algorithm), we would have read about that, I think. Mozilla generally doesn’t miss out on such an opportunity to market their supposed respect for user privacy.

        Plus, Martin, if they have to qualms to perform what amounts to remote code execution in the release channel of Firefox (Normandy / Firefox Experiments), then give me a reason to believe that they would suddenly do a 180° turn for ads (of all things) and generate them locally… Them mentioning a proxy instance also tells me that their model isn’t based on local ad generation.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 13, 2021 at 10:43 am
        Reply

        We don’t know yet, it is an experiment at this point, that is a possible reason for not revealing details on how it works.

        The proxy may also be used for reporting to third-parties, but I don’t know any specifics.

      3. Emil Brausewetter said on August 13, 2021 at 11:41 am
        Reply

        Quote:
        “[…]in fact using Brave’s model (downloading a non-personalized list of ads that are then locally picked by an algorithm)” …

        What the gentleman once again bravely conceals:
        Locally picked by an algorithm … based on the valuable data feeds in Brave browser that an “in-browser agent” studies[!]:
        ? navigation,
        ? search queries,
        ? ecommerce form filling and submitting,
        ? page views and visibility
        known in fraud-free terms by the browser’s rendering engine.
        All of these feeds inform the “in-browser agent” so it can pick the best user ad from a catalog that all users in a large region download and update without identifying themselves.

        In other words Behavioral Targeting

      4. Iron Heart said on August 13, 2021 at 4:22 pm
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        There is nothing for the “gentleman” to conceal here. Brave studies your browsing locally and then picks fitting ads from a non-personalized list of ads. There is no privacy issue here because none of your user data is transmitted to an outside server.

        Btw, Firefox does the very same thing when it picks Pocket Stories for each user.

      5. Emil Brausewetter said on August 13, 2021 at 9:50 pm
        Reply

        The difference is:

        GAFAM and the usual suspects can only “study” part of your online activities via cookies, scripts and so on (in case you are stupid enough to let them do it).

        BRAVE “in-browser agent” has direct access to the browser’s rendering engine and therefore “studies” ALL of YOUR online activities!

        In other words a TROJAN HORSE

        Oh, if it helps you to buy the fastest sneakers at the market … feel happy.

      6. Iron Heart said on August 14, 2021 at 11:35 am
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        The definition of a privacy infringement is a third party gaining access to valuable user data. Brave never sends user data to any outside server, it just studies the browsing locally and picks fitting ads from a non-personalized list of ads. Accept that fact, move on.

        You have no idea what a “trojan horse” is, either. This implies that there is some nefarious, hidden purpose within Brave Rewards. The entire codebase can be audited on GitHub, so please point me to the “nefarious code”. I want to see proof for your stupid, completely pulled out of your ass allegation. Good luck with that.

        Your hypocrisy level is through the roof, as well. Firefox runs a similar algorithm to pick Pocket Stories on the New Tab Page for you, but I never see you complain much about that. If you distrust Brave based on a 100% local algorithm (silly notion, as said above), you would have to apply the same distrust to Firefox since it runs a very similar, privacy-preserving algorithm. Hey hypocrite, care to explain your hypocrisy here?

      7. Emil Brausewetter said on August 14, 2021 at 2:12 pm
        Reply

        It’s obvious that Mr. Iron Heart likes to cloud the waters so he can appear to know more than the next person.

        But my Dearest
        The topic is not “definition of a privacy infringement” nor is it “never sends user data to any outside server” or gibberish like “a non-personalized list of ads”
        The topic is:
        >>> “study” *PART* of your online activities
        versus
        >>> “studies” *ALL of YOUR* online activities!
        In other words, in the first mentioned case there is at least the possibility of having some control over what is “studied” or not. And that’s the difference I am pointing at.

        Quote:
        “stupid, completely pulled out of your ass allegation”
        “Your hypocrisy level is through the roof”
        “Hey hypocrite,” … and so on

        Lost your temper yet?
        It seems. that you have no manners whatsoever, let alone civilized ones.

      8. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2021 at 7:52 am
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        > In other words, in the first mentioned case there is at least the possibility of having some control over what is “studied” or not. And that’s the difference I am pointing at.

        Your data doesn’t get sent to an outside server, no third party ever has them in the process. There is no privacy issue here whatsoever. Plus, the feature is entirely optional. Berating Brave for Brave Rewards is stupid.

        > Lost your temper yet? It seems. that you have no manners whatsoever, let alone civilized ones.

        No, I am replying to you in a tone befitting for your comments. You clearly haven’t used your brain before you typed them out. You can’t actually demonstrate any privacy issue, yet you are still berating Brave, acting as if an optional local algorithm is some very nefarious stuff when it’s not (and when FF does the same thing, hahaha). This is tiresome, unnecessary, immature, and badly thought out, or in short: it’s low quality bait. Do you expect high quality replies to low quality bait?

      9. Emil Brausewetter said on August 16, 2021 at 12:26 pm
        Reply

        You clearly haven’t used your brain before you typed
        Quote:
        “Berating Brave for Brave Rewards is stupid.”

        I see, web surfing has been bravely revolutionized: “Earn money easily, watch commercials”!

        High quality Question:
        Where is this money coming from? Brendan’s wallet?

        Simple answer:
        Straight out of YOUR purse!

        In other words: Brave Rewards is low quality bait for stupids …

      10. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2021 at 3:47 pm
        Reply

        @Emil Brausewetter

        No, Brave’s partners pay for their own ads. Brave Software receives a share of the money, and so do Brave users. This also enables Brave not to be a search engine leech, living off Google money like Firefox does…

        Seriously, stop replying to me. Your posts strike me as exceptionally stupid, and this is quite an achievement with people like @Yash also being around here. When I see the nick “Emil Brausewetter” my eyes start rolling uncontrollably, because I know that what follows will be totally unreasonable in every single case.

      11. Emil Brausewetter said on August 16, 2021 at 9:49 pm
        Reply

        Surprise, Surprise … High quality answer to the simple question: “Where is this money come from?”
        Quote:
        “Brave’s partners pay for their own ads.”

        I see:
        The famous ghacks forum acupuncturist Dr. Iron Pinch discovered a connection between purposefully applied pressure on the human ear and a sudden influx of money. His “BAT-upunctur” for example, brings about unexpected inheritances by applying pressure to the upper arch of the ear – while a pinch to the earlobe leads to big lottery wins.
        Pinching the ear will “Brave’s partners” earn the money to pay for their own[!] ads. Brave Software receives a share of the money, and so do Brave users.

        What a wonder, a wonderful, wonderful act of covering advertising costs. No more eyes rolling uncontrollably over any advertising budget.

        Just pinch your ear … stupids!

      12. Yash said on August 16, 2021 at 11:09 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        You said Brave partners pay for their own ads, which is hilarious and pathetic at the same time, but here’s a question – any criteria how they get picked, what’s the process and all the approval stuff for different types of ads of different products, even opinions?

    2. DrKnow said on August 13, 2021 at 2:11 am
      Reply

      Brave pays the user a share. Guess why they do that?
      https://brave.com/compare/chrome/earning/ is a joke. So much for privacy!

      That said, the Firefox ‘sponsored suggestions’ must be one of the dumbest things they’ve ever come up with.

      1. Iron Heart said on August 13, 2021 at 8:38 am
        Reply

        @DrKnow

        Brave pays users a share to incentivize them to enable the locally generated ads. That’s about it. It’s also the first advertising model that a) respects user privacy and b) doesn’t leave the user in the dust monetarily. I am a supporter of their model, if everyone were using it, the Internet would be a better place. The link you’ve posted just describes their ad model, so I don’t know what exactly you are trying to tell me here.

        As for Firefox’s ads – the user has no reason to leave those enabled, alright? The only benefactor would be Mozilla. The privacy aspect in Firefox is also questionable because, contrary to Brave’s ads, Firefox’s ads aren’t locally generated and rely on a (supposedly anonymizing – we have no way to verify this) proxy.

      2. Sol Shine said on August 13, 2021 at 10:01 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        ‘As for Firefox’s ads – the user has no reason to leave those enabled, alright? The only benefactor would be Mozilla.’

        The ads help fund the develeopment of Firefox and so help the Firefox users.

        The problem is that given Mozilla behavior in the past concerning privacy, and their stupid crippling of Firefox, they can no longer be trusted.
        I would enable ads in Firefox to help fund them if the ads were not intrusive and were not based on sending my browsing history to a third party or even Mozilla.
        But they have lost my trust.

      3. Iron Heart said on August 14, 2021 at 11:43 am
        Reply

        @Sol Shine

        Yeah, I guess. I was talking about a lack of incentive for most users, if there is nothing in it for them, they might as well just disable the ads. There is little point in further lining up the pockets of Mozilla, especially since any ad earning generated from Firefox has zero realistic chance of replacing the Google search deal money. In reality, it will now be the Google search deal + whatever they generate from the ads.

        All in all, I think it is obvious that their attempts to generate revenue outside of the Google search deal are very clumsy and very low effort. Setting up some paid ads + proxy in Firefox is cheap, another low effort attempt is their VPN which is just rebranded Mullvad (they don’t even run the VPN servers themselves, no way I would reward them for Mullvad’s work), this is very cheaply set up as well. Once they offer something with benefits I can’t get anywhere else, and with an ironclad privacy policy at that, I’d be willing to listen more closely. Their low effort attempts at earning money don’t impress me so far.

    3. Not-A-Mouse said on August 13, 2021 at 7:26 am
      Reply

      > I don’t want to see any Firefox users criticizing Brave for its opt-in, local ads

      That’s not how criticism works. You seem this think this is some sort of competition and are playing the aboutwhatism game .. which is pretty much par for the course with you

      1. Iron Heart said on August 13, 2021 at 10:58 am
        Reply

        @Not-A-Mouse

        You can criticize anything – but without being a hypocrite. You can’t criticize Brave for having ads when Firefox also has them, it’s not hard to understand.

        Also, I don’t care what you think about me. Never have, never will.

      2. Not-A-Mouse said on August 13, 2021 at 8:45 pm
        Reply

        > You can’t criticize Brave for having ads when Firefox also has them

        Yes I absofuckinglutely can. I can also criticize Firefox (or choose not to). The two are not mutually inclusive.

      3. Iron Heart said on August 14, 2021 at 10:48 am
        Reply

        @Not-A-Mouse

        > Yes I absofuckinglutely can.

        Then enjoy being an absofuckinglute hypocrite. I‘ll call you out on it where applicable, don‘t worry.

      4. Not-A-Mouse said on August 15, 2021 at 3:48 am
        Reply

        > Then enjoy being an absofuckinglute hypocrite

        But I’m not being a hypocrite. I haven’t stated anything except that you don’t understand hypocrisy

        Are you confused about what a double standard is?
        – If I choose to point out that A does something I don’t like, and provide examples of why, then that is criticism. It has nothing to do with B or C or D
        – If I choose to criticize A and do not mention B, C, D for doing the same, the criticism is still valid
        – If I choose to criticize A and mention B, C, D but do NOT criticize them (or if someone was to point out that B, C and D do the same), i.e hold them to the same standard, then that would be a double standard and thus hypocritical

        If Brave does something shitty, then they can absolutely be called out on it, regardless of what anyone else fucking does. You seem to think two wrongs make a right. You have an utter twisted concept of logic

        If anyone is a hypocrite, it’s you. One example of hundreds: misrepresenting telemetry as the root of all evils in Firefox, but then when Brave added telemetry, suddenly changing your tune and saying it’s not PII, and you can turn it off (which is the exact same things that applied to Firefox)

        Get some help. You have issues

      5. Yash said on August 15, 2021 at 3:57 pm
        Reply

        Iron Heart at it again.

      6. Anonymous said on August 16, 2021 at 1:46 am
        Reply

        Iron Heart is addicted, he will never stop, he has serious issues

      7. Anonymous said on August 16, 2021 at 6:23 pm
        Reply

        time to kick Iron Heart off, he does nothing but cause endless arguments because of his ignorance and hatred

      8. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2021 at 8:02 am
        Reply

        @Not-A-Mouse

        Read my comment again:

        > You can’t criticize Brave for having ads when Firefox also has them, it’s not hard to understand.

        Now you:

        > If I choose to criticize A and mention B, C, D but do NOT criticize them (or if someone was to point out that B, C and D do the same), i.e hold them to the same standard, then that would be a double standard and thus hypocritical

        I think you are doing exactly this, hypocrite.

        > If Brave does something shitty, then they can absolutely be called out on it, regardless of what anyone else fucking does.

        When FF does the same thing and you don’t criticize it likewise, you are a hypocrite, the validity of the criticism in either case notwithstanding.

        > If anyone is a hypocrite, it’s you. One example of hundreds: misrepresenting telemetry as the root of all evils in Firefox, but then when Brave added telemetry, suddenly changing your tune and saying it’s not PII, and you can turn it off (which is the exact same things that applied to Firefox)

        Firefox is the only browser collecting telemetry about users who have explicitly opted out of telemetry. It is also the only browser installing out-of-browser telemetry via the scheduled telemetry task. It also collects data that has nothing to do with its own functionality (e.g. what default browser people use). I am not hypocritical here at all when I criticize Firefox for being the absolute king of telemetry. I have also criticized Brave for its telemetry, and yes, it is factually true that they don’t collect PII, but then again, neither does FF. Contrary to you, I try not to be a hypocrite at least.

        That being said, telemetry is a lesser issue of FF. We could talk about Mozilla’s ability to remotely install experiments at will, or that they advertise a product in Firefox that has a different privacy policy from the main product (Pocket), or about their snippet messages happening to be used for propaganda etc. There are bigger fish to fry than “telemetry”, or so I believe.

        > Get some help. You have issues

        Only if not putting up with hypocritical, brainless comments is considered an “issue” nowadays.

      9. Anonymous said on August 16, 2021 at 6:22 pm
        Reply

        > You can’t criticize Brave for having ads when Firefox also has them

        I can. Watch this

        Brave is a scammy shitty browser run by an advertising company and it shoves fucking ads in your face. I hate them. It’s a crap experience. I hate them. Also, I hate them. That’s my opinion and it’s valid, * [Editor: removed, please stay polite].

        There. I fucking did it. Proved you wrong. Ha ha. You lose I don’t care what Firefox does. I’m not talking about Firefox. I’m not even using Firefox. So * [Editor: removed, please stay polite] with your bullshit endless long rants of nonsense. As Not-A-Mouse said, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  4. Clairvaux said on August 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm
    Reply

    Waaaat ? Sponsored suggestions in the bloody address bar ? This, from a browser which has made its reputation over privacy and slandering greedy corporations ?

    What is it those guys do not understand about their customers ? Plenty of privacy-oriented and open-source services successfully use the freemium model. Why don’t they offer paid, extra features that people would actually want to use ?

    One also has to admire the fact this is an experimental feature, which might not be retained. So, run the risk to ruin your brand and alienate your customers, for a feature you’re not sure to keep anyway.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 12, 2021 at 3:35 pm
      Reply

      I think that these types of advertisements, even if they are more private than other forms, do more harm than good. Mozilla is (likely) paid by click, and these are likely very low.

      Offering a paid version of Firefox, with some extra features built-into the browser, such as a full ad-blocker and full privacy protections, would appeal to the userbase; this would reduce the reliance on search engine deals and improve the standing with privacy-demanding users.

      1. DrKnow said on August 13, 2021 at 2:20 am
        Reply

        Martin, suggesting a paid for version of Firefox is so far off the mark it’s hard to imagine you suggested it and would alienate the user base even more. There are already browsers with what you suggested and built better than current Firefox.

        I suggest you put down that bottle of wine before commenting further.

      2. Testertime said on September 4, 2021 at 7:55 pm
        Reply

        In order to understand the comment, you need to understand yourself that your very own view is personal and subjective. Judging others is NEVER the way to go in rational discussions and says more about yourself than others. Martin suggested this because it is very common that services offer a paid, ad-free version these days. For example Youtube, Spotify, etc. If Mozilla wants to add even more ads, and a paid VPN, there should be a way to unify all of these have a Firefox experience with the included VPN and without ads. That would be the paid option then. If users out there would go for it is another question of course, but it’s a legit suggestion to consider.

  5. Tom Hawack said on August 12, 2021 at 4:08 pm
    Reply

    Marketing campaigns often inspire irritation but when they induce pity then its more the company’s problem than ours. Firefox is my browser, I’m really fond of it. I don’t participate to bashing of any sort, never have. But when an innovation is obviously conducted by search of funding, obviously to the point it appears as flagrant given it doesn’t have the shoulders to argument itself (like someone who lies poorly) then one word comes to my mind : pathetic. I mean : I’d be willing to pay a year subscription but, please, Mozilla, count me out of your perimeter defined as an oyster’s IQ average user level.

    I do have the Firefox Suggestions in my FF91.0 about:preferences#search, all blank and locked as such.

  6. Herman Cost said on August 12, 2021 at 5:46 pm
    Reply

    This appears to reflect desperation more than anything else, and if/when it is rolled out it will simply generate Firefox more bad publicity without providing any significant revenue. I do think the CEO is a major part of the problem with this Company. Her support for internet censorship and cancel culture certainly makes me want to do anything I can to help cancel her.

  7. Anonymous said on August 12, 2021 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    LOL imagine getting so much money from google, more than any other browser thus not being independent on BigTech and now they add more greedy tactics that will only screw the users who get these sponsored ads, we know it will not be optin but optout like everything in Firefox.

    I just laugh because the people who defend the Browser who supports censorship and spams android phones to join censorship campaigns and support deplatforming insult other browsers that are trying to fix Ads business like Brave, but Firefox is actually helping those nasty privacy invasion ads business with their “testing of sponsored results”. It is proven by using their proxy server because they know how it will have to send personal information if it was from users to partner server. Now Firefox will know your information but not the partner supposedly.

    Well, this is good. And I hope the people who still support Firefox finally will get some braincells and find an alternative because forcing yourself to use Firefox because “it is not chromium” is just not too smart. Firefox is dying because they caused it and it became a faster death since they fired.. I mean, Brendan and Mozilla came to an agreement for leaving the company. I mean, Firefox didn’t seem so desperate and weird until that happened, and all my hopes is how it will die soon because it is annoying to see it alive with so much BS on it and people just ignore crap because “but I can edit the config file and make it private” lol

  8. Tony said on August 12, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Reply

    They should start with finding a new CEO,who isn’t an overpaid clueless piece of shit.

    1. ryuk said on August 23, 2021 at 12:49 pm
      Reply

      This!

  9. Yash said on August 12, 2021 at 11:07 pm
    Reply

    I’ll be honest I didn’t criticised Mozilla CEO in the past as she steadied the organisation, but at this point its clear, leadership change is needed. She’s more Priti Patel than a tech CEO now. Literally this move is just bonkers.

    Anyways I still and will always love Firefox, its just that changes has to be made.

  10. Anonymous said on August 12, 2021 at 11:27 pm
    Reply

    Firefox is supposed to be run by a charitable foundation and staffed by community volunteers who work for free because they care about saving humanity. There shouldn’t be any adverts in Firefox. Firefox is supposed to be the showpiece software of the Linux world – created to show humanity what community volunteers working for free can achieve, not just with a web browser, but with an entire operating system.

    If they start putting adverts into Firefox, then the rest of Linux will be next.

  11. Sol Shine said on August 13, 2021 at 1:08 am
    Reply

    @Tony
    Agreed. The current managementt needs to go.

  12. not your ordinary rainbow dinosaur said on August 13, 2021 at 4:39 am
    Reply

    They need to make a new Mozilla logo, instead of the red dinosaur, make a dinosaur in rainbow colors with a magical wand and glitter which shoots from his mouth instead of fire.

    IMO they’ll just continue to make stupid decisions until the whole browser is fucked and “about:config” is done away with.

  13. Tim said on August 13, 2021 at 9:03 am
    Reply

    I’m afraid this feature is more likely to reduce the number of FF users than attract more people to the browser. Another unwelcome change in succession. I hesitate to call the current state of affairs sabotage but definitely can call it a growing gap between the management team and the users.

  14. notAUser said on August 13, 2021 at 9:48 am
    Reply

    Sorry if I am wrong. But the news about “custom search engine” and there is no information in the news about that except title of the news.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 13, 2021 at 10:41 am
      Reply

      It is not about custom search engine, but about custom search suggestions and sponsored suggestions in the browser’s address bar.

  15. Anon said on August 13, 2021 at 4:29 pm
    Reply

    Let’s take a look at what has to be configured, minimally, with Firefox these days:

    – Have to manually disable all telemetry
    – Have to manually disable all hidden telemetry in about:config
    – Have to manually disable pocket in about:config
    – Have to manually edit mouse scrolling behavior in about:config because Firefox completely disregards your OS settings
    – Have to manually edit about:config so that Firefox doesn’t use ugly bitmap fonts
    – Have to manually edit about:config so that bookmarks open in background tabs when middle clicked
    – Bookmark folders still open in the foreground regardless of the previous setting. This hasn’t been fixed in ~13 years
    – Have to manually edit about:config so that it shows the full URL in the address bar
    – Have to manually edit about:config so that page find properly highlights matches with a visible color
    – Have to manually edit about:config to disable the annoying seconds-long full screen video messages that no other browser has
    – Have to manually edit about:config to enable webrender
    – Have to manually edit about:config to stop Firefox from opening a new decoding GPU thread for each video playback, causing the GPU to switch to a high-performance p-state all the time
    – Have to manually edit about:config to enable dark mode, because Firefox disregards your OS settings
    – Have to add these other 50 about:config tweaks to counter annoying behaviors
    – Have to add all of these settings to user.js, otherwise Firefox will reset random settings after each update
    – A new version is available, which means 20~30% of your settings will be deprecated without any warning
    – Have to configure userChrome.css because Firefox thinks desktop computers need a tablet interface with obnoxious padding everywhere
    – Have constantly download more extensions to restore previously removed behavior because “muh telemetry says nobody uses this button”
    – The ordering of menu items in the context menus for extensions is random, because they are populated in parallel thus prone to race conditions
    – Have to manually edit about:config to restore sane download behavior when opening files instead of saving them
    – Have to manually edit about:config to disable ads in address bar

    I wonder why Firefox is dying?

    1. Yash said on August 14, 2021 at 8:39 am
      Reply

      Replace Firefox with Chrome, and start every point with ‘Can’t fix’ – You’ll feel better.

      1. hippopotanonymous said on August 15, 2021 at 3:53 am
        Reply

        > and start every point with ‘Can’t fix’

        you can’t fix stupid users

    2. Anonymous said on August 14, 2021 at 11:45 am
      Reply

      calm down mate, you’re getting TRiGgEreD. Would you like a hanky? All your points are garbage e.g

      https://github.com/earthlng/FFprefs-diffs/blob/master/diffs/9x/diff-v89.0-vs-v90.0.log.js
      – in release 90, there were 104 diffs: 61 new, 29 gone, and 14 different: out of 4343 or 2.4%
      – in release 91 it was even less, 79 diffs: 35 new, 31 gone, and 13 different: or 1.8%

      All telemetry except coverage ping is governed by a single checkbox in preferences. Would you like me to call you a wambulance

      not worth discussing the rest. seek some help, maybe talk to Iron Heart, you two seem to suit each other

  16. Anonymous said on August 14, 2021 at 1:06 am
    Reply

    Meanwhile Google Chrome doesn’t even have an about:config and you are stuck with whatever crumbs the Google monster allows you to have.

    Chrome based browsers are the least configurable browsers of all time.

    Even Internet Explorer has masses of configurable settings crammed into a tiny list box.

  17. FF said on August 15, 2021 at 3:57 am
    Reply

    For a long time I had been watching what felt like the slow decline of Firefox. Now it feels like I’m watching the eventual demise. No amount of gimmicky progress can curb the exodus. The team needs a full scale revival. Gain back the trust and the users, Firefox.

  18. Mark said on August 20, 2021 at 10:54 pm
    Reply

    I speak as a Firefox user of ovr 15 years.

    Could they have got this any more wrong???

    Sponsored/suggested anything – call it by it’s name – ADS.

    I have always called Firefox “MY Firefox”, due to it’s customisability and due to the fact that, with extensions, you can do what you want with it – and the web (EG, blocking ads).

    I, for one, will not have ads – CAPITALIST BRAINWASHING – anywhere near MY Firefox. In any form.

    Major, MAJOR own goal from Mozilla.

  19. Rex said on August 29, 2021 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    *grabs popcorn while happily using Pale Moon that has none of these problems and remains fully customizable*

    And braindead bots showing up with iT’s iNsEcUrE aNd ouTDaTeD can fornicate off.

  20. Anonymous said on September 7, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    Reply

    More ads in Firefox, and furthermore ad targeting that implies more private data monetization by Firefox. Either a new way of monetization of the search query itself which was already a classic, and the bulk of their revenue source from Google, or worse, as speculated by the author, targeting based on other user private data spied on by Firefox itself, like Pocket does for example. And a prominent tech blogger itself not even being able to tell what data will be monetized and how exactly tells again a lot about Mozilla’s love for transparency.

  21. OldFoxBetterBox said on September 11, 2021 at 3:31 am
    Reply

    I’m fine with this.

    My (regular) complaint about firefox is them removing features or not allowing you to disable things you don’t like.

    I don’t care what is default, as long as I can adjust it. So what if they add sponsored suggestions, if I can click one checkbox to turn it off? They need a revenue model and if this makes them less dependent on google money it’s a good thing

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