An apology.

A tweet taken out of context, finding itself in print.

This morning a tweet of mine was published on page A1 in The Wall Street Journal, as well as on their website, in a story about Mozilla’s Brendan Eich stepping down as CEO. My choice of language was poor and in some contexts, it would paint me as a sympathizer in a way I did not intend.

The tweet read as follows:

The mob got their man. Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board. Wow: http://recode.net/2014/04/03/mozilla-co-founder-brendan-eich-resigns-as-ceo-and-also-from-foundation-board/

I’ve since deleted the offending tweet — namely because it was getting retweeted, and without additional context it could be read in a way that I didn’t intend at all.

In the Wall Street Journal article, “The mob got their man.” was quoted before attributing me. But in addition was the use of the second tweet I sent moments later:

While I disagree with his beliefs @BrendanEich gave us JavaScript and helped build Mozilla & Netscape. Just $1,000 to Prop 8 now his legacy.

Put those together and it looks like I was in a position where I disagreed with the “mob” that I had so colorfully called the group of people vocally asking for his resignation.

One thing I’d like to make clear is that I’m not blaming the Journal or the article’s author here. The mistake was in my own tweet. It was simply a series of unfortunate things that took place later that brought me here.

The original tweet sparked a conversation between myself and Anil Dash, which was partially included in the article but failed to include the most important one — where I explained it was a poor context.

@anil dash— “@mg “the mob”? Seriously? Would you say that someone who tried to criminalize your marriage was fit to lead you?”

@mg (my reply)— “@anildash Oh, definitely wasn’t meant in a bad light. He shouldn’t have been appointed CEO. Not by a long shot.”

Simply put, “mob” was an incredibly poor word choice. Secondarily, without enough room to type context around my second tweet regarding Brendan Eich’s contributions to the world, I was unable to include that I thought it unfortunate that just a $1,000 mistake may stand as his legacy considering his body of work.

This was an unfortunate combination of poor word choice and a quote taken out of context.

I can sympathize with the community’s outrage of Brendan Eich’s appointment. Mozilla is a deeply principled organization; many of those principles stand for openness and enriching lives. Appointing Eich as CEO felt like going back on those principles. Donating $1,000 to oppose Proposition 8 was his right under the law, but it was an action that supported the deprivation of basic human rights of others. The Chairperson of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker added in a blog post announcing the resignation:

“We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

Years ago when Proposition 8 was struck down, I was ecstatic. It was an important step in the right direction — a day when our society no longer discriminates against a population that had no choice in their orientation.

Thanks to Twitter’s archives I was able to find my tweets and retweets from that day and am happy to share them:

https://twitter.com/mg/statuses/20334040818
https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom/statuses/20332112409
https://twitter.com/HRC/statuses/20332327438
https://twitter.com/joestump/statuses/20471269599

We have no idea if Eich will eventually see the light and understand that his $1,000 donation was just as much bigotry as it was free speech but I certainly hope he begins to embrace the community he’s currently at odds with.

I’d like to reiterate my support for the LGBT community and again am deeply sorry for any distress I caused anyone. I invite anyone to reach out to me if they think I can be helpful in any way. You can find me as @mg on Twitter.

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Dad, Midwesterner, product designer, coffee snob, craft beer lover, GIF enthusiast.

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Matt Galligan

Dad, Midwesterner, product designer, coffee snob, craft beer lover, GIF enthusiast.