Google Funding Firefox Sabotage

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Ed Bott writes that, thanks to Google AdSense’s Firefox Referral program, publishers are defacing their own websites and annoying users, all in the name of a $1 bounty.

He makes a good point. It used to be that if you really loved Firefox, you’d put ads for it on your site, or yes, even show messages to IE users, but it was because you loved the product. Now, the motive is passion, not profit.

Sites like Explorer Destroyer are giving tips for putting annoying messages that only IE browsers see, messages that can disable your website or push the content far down the page. If you are doing it for the love of Firefox, fine, but most people are joining some sort of Firefox referral cottage industry.

You aren’t helping anyone.

Maybe its time Google revised the Firefox referral terms of service. Just make it read:

You shall not display the Referral Event to some browsers, and not others. It must have a permanent or random placement, or none at all.

I know Google wants to promote Firefox, but I don’t think it’s good public relations if the people you want to switch start thinking of you as a nuisance.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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Google Funding Firefox Sabotage
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  • Guest

    Seems Google is now sabotaging Firefox. When you install Chrome (the new Google browser), Firefox is now plagued with crashes. That’s my experience anyway. I had to disable the Google Notebook extension for Firefox to stop it starting in ‘Safe Mode’.

    Anybody else experienced this problem or is it unique to me?

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