If you use Mozilla Firefox to access dating site OK Cupid, you'll be met by the above message urging you to choose another browser.
This strikes me as an interesting and appropriate way for a company to lobby for change without resorting to regulations or calling for government action to limit people's choices or ban something. (Side note: Reading about this on Buzzfeed caused me to open Firefox for the first time in years.)
Whether you agree or disagree with OK Cupid's stance on this particular issue (I'm in favor of marriage equality myself), I think most people can appreciate the way in which the company is acting here. If nothing else, this sort of action complicates the idea that corporations or businesses can't have "personality" or take stances on things, kinda/sorta like real people, doesn't it? We ascribe intention to businesses all the time, based on their practices and leadership.
I'm curious as to the responses of conservatives, who often say they want the government out of our lives but tend to be against marriage equality, and of liberals, who often say that corporations should be "socially responsible" but then harp on businesses that have conservative identities (Dominos, anyone, or Hobby Lobby?).
I am also curious as to how individuals decide when a company's policies or personnel choices rise to such a level that you will stop buying its goods or services. After all, one of the great things about markets is that they allow people to trade with relative or absolute strangers and they don't force single standards of anything on the folks involved. Lord knows it would be punishing to have to agree with every merchant or customer on every issue before a deal could be struck.
Thoughts on this? Hit the comments!
I wrote about corporate social responsibility (CSR) in light of Apple CEO Tim Cook's statement that climate-change skeptics should sell the company's stock for Time. Read that here.
And read Reason's classic 2005 debate on CSR with Whole Foods' John Mackey, Cypress Semiconductor's T.J. Rodgers, and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman here.