Mozilla Firefox apologizes for pop-up window promoting its own VPN service

The Mozilla Foundation, in collaboration with its partners, inaugurated its Mozilla VPN service two years ago, an encrypted tunnel network aimed at preserving user privacy. Available across various platforms, the service is offered at a subscription fee of $4.99 per month.

It may well be that due to a paucity of subscribers, the Mozilla Foundation opted to modify configurations remotely in recent days, thereby auto-generating Mozilla VPN advertisements as users browsed. These ads, stubbornly persistent until closed, prohibited interaction with other web pages, forcing users to click the ‘X’ in the upper-right corner to resume browser functionality.

Clearly, this approach engendered considerable user dissatisfaction. Even if promotional pop-ups are deemed necessary, they should be better optimised, allowing users to dismiss them by clicking on an empty space. Otherwise, the abrupt appearance of such ads during work hours can lead to vexation.

In response to user feedback, the Mozilla Foundation issued a statement:

We’re continuously working to understand the best ways to communicate with people who use Firefox. Ultimately, we accomplished the exact opposite of what we intended in this experiment and quickly rolled the experience back. We apologize for any confusion or concern.

Users can check the relevant option in the Firefox browser settings: Enter about:config and find browser.vpn_promo.enabled. Clicking the toggle button on the side can switch its Boolean value to false for closure.