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TechRepublic: Mozilla ‘Is Desperately Needed to Save the Web’

“I can’t remember the last time I cared about Mozilla,” writes Matt Asay at TechRepublic. “I also can’t remember a time when we needed it more.”

An anonymous reader quotes TechRepublic:
Mozilla’s Firefox is almost a rounding error in desktop market share, and nonexistent in mobile browser market share. It offers a few other services, like Pocket, but largely gets ignored… This is a mistake. Our world is increasingly mediated by the internet, and that internet has just a few gatekeepers, collecting tolls as we browse. As Python guru Matt Harrison put it, “Vendors control the default browser which 99.9% of people use.” Those vendors are happy to sell us access to information. Nothing about it is free. You are most definitely the product.

On mobile, where the majority of the world’s content is now consumed, Google and Facebook own eight of the top 10 apps, with apps devouring 87% of our time spent on smartphones and tablets, according to new comScore data. For that remaining 13% of time spent on the mobile web, Google and Apple offer the two dominant browsers… the majority of our time online is now mediated by just a few megacorporations, and for the most part their top incentive is to borrow our privacy just long enough to target an ad at us. Then there’s Mozilla, an organization whose mantra is “Internet for people, not profit.” That feels like a necessary voice to add to today’s internet oligopoly, but it’s not one we’re hearing… We clearly need an organization standing up for web freedom, as expecting Google to do that is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Google does many great things, but its clear incentive is to sell ads. We are Google’s product, as the saying goes.
The article applauds the Mozilla-sponsored Rust programming language as promising, “but not to save the web from the all-consuming embrace of Facebook and Google, especially as they wall off the experience in apps…
“If I sound like I don’t know what to propose Mozilla should do, it’s because I don’t. I simply feel strongly that the role Mozilla played in the early browser wars needs to be resurrected to save the web today.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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