Mozilla enabled ads in Firefox and they're active in Fedora

Mustafa Muhammad mustafaa.alhamdaani at
Sun Nov 16 11:46:32 UTC 2014

On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 4:25 PM, Lars Seipel <lars.seipel at> wrote:
> So Mozilla has recently gone live with its advertisement tiles on the
> "New Tab" page. Only newly created profiles get to see this stuff.
> On a pristine F21 install using Gnome, when first launching Firefox,
> users are presented with a number of tiles, depending on screen size.
> One of those is a so-called "sponsored" tile chosen from a range of
> available advertisements (e.g. for, there's also one for the
> Snowden movie), apparently depending on geographical location.
> When this "feature" got originally announced[1], there was a discussion
> on -devel if this kind of stuff is really appropriate for Fedora.
> Some time later Mozilla seemed to have canceled the feature, quoting
> "That’s not going to happen. That’s not who we are at Mozilla." as one
> of the reasons[2].
> Apparently, they (again) reconsidered, pushing the feature to nightlies
> a few months ago. Well, it now hit the stable branch and, therefore,
> Fedora.
> This is how Mozilla pitches the feature to advertisers[3]:
>> To support ad personalization, Mozilla created an internal data system
>> that aggregates user information while stripping out personally
>> identifiable information. Mozilla can track impressions, clicks, and the
>> number of ads a user hides or pins. Its advertising partners are also
>> privy to that data.
> Personally, I don't think that showing advertisements on the free
> software desktop is appropriate. Our users are supposed to be able to
> fully trust our software. That's one of our most-often touted strenghts.
> I don't think the ability to "track impressions, clicks, and the number
> of ads a user hides or pins" is something that is compatible with that,
> regardless of this data being tied to "personally identifiable
> information" or not.
> Firefox's behaviour is probably nothing extraordinary on the other
> platforms Mozilla is targeting. Compared to the prevalent attitude of
> proprietary vendors, especially on mobile, it doesn't sound that bad
> anymore. I don't think that's a suitable scale for Fedora, though.
> From a user perspective, it's not that hard to disable the feature. Upon
> first seeing that page a tooltip is shown to hint at the possibility.
> Users can choose between three modes, "Enhanced", "Classic" and "Blank".
> Contrary to what is stated in the Mozilla kb[4], the only one that
> actually disables the ads is "Blank", which is equal to setting the new
> tab page to about:blank.
> What does the community think of it? Is it okay for our flagship
> applications to carry ads and report tracking data?
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> --
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> devel at
> Fedora Code of Conduct:

The "ads" are not intrusive, they don't collect personally
identifiable data, and can be disabled with a selection from a button
on the start page!

I think the best way is to ship Firefox as is, if somebody doesn't
want to help the open source project generating some revenue using
these ads, he can disable them.

When you use Google search engine in any browser, it is collecting
more data than this feature in Firefox.

If you want to disable them, disable them in the default configuration
we ship, nothing more is needed.

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