Bonum Certa Men Certa

Mozilla Allows Facebook to Sabotage Messenger Live Video in Firefox for Three Years, Then Takes a Swipe at Me for Calling Them Out

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Today in Firefox sucks…

Years ago, I filed a bug that asked them to do a web compatibility intervention (just lie about the user agent) because Facebook deliberately crippled Firefox so that you couldn’t use Facebook Messenger video and voice calling, even though it was fully compatible, and then stuck out a “Get Chrome” banner for three years.

Literally the only thing you had to do to make it work again was install User Agent Switcher, and then give it a recent Chrome user agent, and tell it to use that UA override for all Facebook domains.

Mozilla let the bug go unanswered for so long that Facebook eventually fixed it themselves two years later. THREE YEARS of allowing Facebook to openly sabotage Firefox and RECOMMEND THEIR COMPETITOR!

Then when I made a comment about this on the bug report, about how it was unbelievable that they just ignore problems like this on major websites, and let their competitor get free advertising, “Dennis Schubert” came in and hid it and made a passive-aggressive remark about me being “unhelpful”.

Get that? A user was concerned about a problem with Firefox, and then Mozilla dismisses them, rudely, and says that they don’t care if the product works or not.

Okay, I won’t bother trying to use your crummy browser as anything other than a backup again, much less file a bug report.

It’s falling apart anyway (currently, the latest ESR can’t even build due to an unsatisfiable requirement on Debian 11, for no damned good reason), and it’s obvious nobody at Mozilla cares.

When you allow people to break your software and link to Google Chrome’s download site (so that people give up and use the even bigger NSA backdoor into their digital life), that’s why you lost 50 million users in your last three years. And unless you’re just stupid, you’d know that. Enjoy the paychecks all the way to the bankruptcy filing.

Bonus: I talked to Nathan Lineback of ToastyTech (who has been an avid promoter of Firefox over the years). Here’s what he said in his reply email.

I wrote:

Hi, I noticed your rants about Microsoft Edge spewing ads all over the Windows desktop.

IE Channel Band rides again. Windows 10/11 really are awful.

I’m glad I switched to Debian.

The problem? Firefox has become so rarely used these days that they’re milking their few remaining users by shoving in all sorts of ads. I grit my teeth over the web DRM nonsense, even though it made Firefox proprietary software and….well, meant DRM had won and the open web had officially lost.

But when I opened up Firefox 93 (from the Flatpak provided by Mozilla) and there was this Suggest adware/spyware/keylogger, all sorts of sponsored bookmark ads, and “sponsored story” crap from “Pocket”, I knew that it was finally over. 

I’ve been using GNOME Web and Vivaldi more often because I simply cannot stand the thought of opening Firefox and I don’t know who at Mozilla thought that it was okay to do this. 

Even Vivaldi has one place where you click to make the Widevine DRM go away, and other than some default bookmarks to delete and changing the search engine to startpage, it leaves me alone after that. 

The Sync feature even remembers I didn’t want their bookmarks and clears them for me in new installs. Firefox has a GUI setting for the DRM and like half a dozen about:config things to make it stop yelling about turning it on, and then you have to go through the entire gauntlet to turn off the ad and spyware. No thanks. Perhaps it’s time to say that Firefox was supposed to destroy them, and instead it became them.

Nathan Lineback replied:

Yea, I’ve been inches away from nuking my “firefox is good” pages.

I’ve been sticking with a “New Moon” port for Windows XP, but lots of
sites are breaking things for no good reason.

I remember when one of the advantages was that Firefox was available for
almost every OS out there. Crap like DRM and all of this compiling
scripts to assembly makes porting that much harder.

It really hurts because I used to actively promote Firefox. I’ve still
got a bunch of stickers and stuff that the Mozilla folks sent me because
I participated in their SpreadFirefox event for Firefox 3.

I get so tired of not having control over technology I use. And even
more tired of the attitude that I should just put up with it all like
some kind of cow.

Anyway, thanks for visiting my site.

— Sent from Microsoft Windows 95

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