Home FinanceBusiness Brave’s Brendan Eich Faces Backlash Over Covid-19 Comments

Brave’s Brendan Eich Faces Backlash Over Covid-19 Comments

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A prominent Silicon Valley chief executive, Brendan Eich, is in hot water again for his views on topics far from technology.

Last time around, in 2014, Mr. Eich was pushed out of his job as the top executive of the Mozilla web browser project as a result of donations he had made in opposition to same-sex marriage.

This time, Mr. Eich is facing blowback from users of his new web browser project, Brave, over his skeptical views on public policy around the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent months, Mr. Eich’s Twitter feed has largely alternated between promotion of the privacy-focused Brave browser and questions about the policy and science related to the coronavirus.

Supporters of the Brave project have recently used the company’s Reddit page to express concern about Mr. Eich’s outspoken views about the virus, with some suggesting he should give up his role as C.E.O.

“He was asked to leave Mozilla because he couldn’t keep his right-wing opinions to himself,” one user on Reddit wrote. “Now he’s doing the same thing at the helm of Brave.”

Brave employees, who serve as the moderators of the Reddit page, have gotten involved in the debate by removing some of the comments questioning Mr. Eich or calling for his removal. But even the removed posts have managed to set off fiery debates about the propriety of Mr. Eich’s public remarks.

Catherine Corre, a spokeswoman for the company, said that some of the posts that were removed “included personal attacks and gross misrepresentations.”

Brave has raised around $70 million from venture capital firms supporting the company’s effort to create an ad-free browser focused on the privacy of users.

But Brave has a broader audience of investors because it created a cryptocurrency, known as the Basic Attention Token, which users can buy, earn and spend on the browser.

Some Brave fans on Reddit have said they have begun to sell their Brave tokens or stopped using the browser in order to express opposition to Mr. Eich. The value of the token has fallen around 15 percent in recent days, though this sort of move is not entirely unusual in the volatile world of cryptocurrencies.



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