Welcome to the era of politically correct web browsing

Just as the Internet has empowered consumers to find cheaper prices, more-extensive reviews, and a wider variety of goods than ever before, it’s also made it easier for them to call out companies for all sorts of dastardly actions, screw-ups, and problems. I like that OKCupid’s intervention wasn’t a call for government action to limit people’s choices or ban something. Indeed, OKCupid didn’t even block Firefox users from its site — rather, it politely asked them to consider getting to the site via a different browser.

But this sort of action complicates the simple act of shopping for both traditional conservatives and liberals in ways that are not yet fully clear. Conservatives should like the fact that this was done without calling for government action, even if they aren’t fans of gay marriage. For liberals, they surely like the outcome — a corporation pledges itself to supporting marriage equality — even as they will have to rethink the idea that corporations or businesses don’t have “personhood” or can’t take stances on issues (as liberals like to claim when it comes to campaign-finance questions). In fact, we ascribe intention to businesses all the time, based on their practices and leadership.