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

Martin Stransky stransky at
Tue Nov 18 13:58:41 UTC 2014


It looks like the recent Firefox "Adds" does not break any Fedora rules 
so it's perfectly ok to ship it "as is".

The H264 codec download feature break the Fedora law and has been 
removed from Fedora. When Fedora rules the Adds out of the apps it will 
be removed from FF immediately. Until that it's a grey zone and may or 
may not be removed/adjusted.

I understand you want to promote Fedora/Gnome on the titles instead of 
some adds by Mozilla (no matter if it helps Mozilla to fund the browser 
development). There's a option to pin more tabs here (on just the Fedora 
start-up page) so we can provide our own set of start-up pages. Those 
should be obviously well selected and confirmed by Fedora officials. 
Please post your suggestions to #BZ and file a FESCO ticket for that.

Another way how to promote Fedora is to set "welcome" page to It appears when Firefox starts on fresh profile 
and can point people to the Fedora project.

So let's start with this one, add the "Fedora titles" and discuss if 
apps in Fedora are or are not allowed to show any Adds.


On 11/15/2014 02:25 PM, Lars Seipel 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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