Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla after it was publicized that he had given $1,000 to support Proposition 8 in California. Though it was considered a real publicity win for the homosexual agenda, more than a few people recognized what Mozilla had lost when Eich stepped down.
Having revolutionized browser technology and web content programming, Eich is back at it again. He has founded another company, Brave Software, and this time, he has his eye set on revolutionizing internet advertisement.
Eich co-founded Brave Software with former Khan Academy and Mozilla software developer Brian Bondy last year after stepping down as Mozilla’s CEO in 2014 amid an uproar over donations he made in support of California’s same-sex marriage ban. The epiphany that prompted the creation of a new browser, he tells WIRED, came when he realized that advertising as a business model for websites was here to stay. . . . But he also acknowledges that the deluge of resource-hogging banners and pop-ups on ad-supported sites understandably lead users to demand ways of blocking them. The problem, Eich says, is that the current crop of ad blockers are openly antagonistic toward sites’ survival.
So, what’s the solution? According to Eich, it’s the Brave browser system which is designed to end the war between internet advertisers and web users. Just how does it end the war? Well, first you need to understand how the current system works.
In the current system, the ads that you see on the internet are generally determined by your internet usage history (as collected by Google, usually) and curated by an external ad server. Which ads get selected are largely outside of your control, and in an effort to get your attention, ads have become increasingly intrusive, garish, and annoying.
There are two problems with the current system. First, most of us hate ads. It significantly degrades the online experience. Second, advertisers are actually collecting your private browsing history to serve you more targeted ads. So, there are two things that the Brave system intends to salvage: the quality of your browsing experience and the sanctity of your private information.
But what are other possible solutions to this two-part problem? Ad-blockers are one “solution.” They get rid of both problems. But at what cost? If enough people use ad-blockers, this would threaten the “free” nature of the internet. For better or worse, ad revenue makes it possible for content creators to make their sites available without a subscription fee. So ad-blockers are not a good solution if we want to maintain the current “free-to-view” structure of the internet.
Subscription is also not a very good model. Most people don’t desire to “subscribe” to the internet, aside from the fact that such a model would strike at the heart of the democratic exchange the internet has made possible.
Eich’s Brave Software is a middle ground. It solves the privacy problem by storing absolutely no browsing information in the cloud. All browsing information would be stored locally by the browser itself. The ads would also be served by the browser within very consistent and strict parameters. And the ads would be curated by the user. Over time, the user would have nearly complete control (through his browser history and direct feedback) over the ads he saw.
The downside is that the user would still have to see ads. But giving the user control over the ads he saw and limiting where the ads would be in the browser, all while protecting the user’s private information? That sounds better than the current system. And if anyone can revolutionize the way we use the internet yet again, it’s Brendan Eich.