If you’ve been on the internet this week, chances are you might have seen a meme or two about the Firefox logo.
And listen, that’s great news for us. Sure, it’s stressful to have hundreds of thousands of people shouting things like “justice for the fox” in all-caps in your mentions for three days straight, but ultimately that means people are thinking about the brand in a way they might not have for years.
People were up in arms because they thought we had scrubbed fox imagery from our browser. Rest easy knowing nothing could be further from the truth.
The logo causing all the stir is one we created a while ago with input from our users. Back in 2019, we updated the Firefox browser logo and added the parent brand logo as a new logo for our broader product portfolio that extends beyond the browser.
What this moment showed us first and foremost is that apparently some of Firefox’s most ardent fans aren’t actually using the browser because then they’d know the beloved fox icon is alive and well in Firefox. All you have to do is click on it every day on your desktop.
This experience also gave us our own mini-case study on how misinformation spreads online.
Because we care about combatting misinformation (yet another reason to use Firefox), let’s take a look at how this happened.
That bottom middle image with the fox curled around the purple globe is our current Firefox browser logo. The bottom right image of the fiery marble is our parent brand logo, which represents the family of Firefox products we make outside of just the Firefox browser, like Firefox Monitor. It’s not an icon you’re going to see on a dock, phone’s home screen or desktop, though.
We didn’t get rid of the fox then and have no plans to do so now, or ever. Plenty of folks jumped in to try and clear things up in the original thread, but once the “they killed the fox” meme caught momentum and became the “Firefox minimalist logo” meme, there was no stopping it.
It spread to Instagram and then to Reddit. The memes became so pervasive that there were memes being made about how there were too many Firefox logo memes.
We’ve written a lot about spotting misinformation and fake news, but it also feels important to point out in cases like this that not all misinformation looks the same. It’s not all sensational headlines. Sometimes it’s memes. And meme cycles move and evolve quickly, so you’ve got this turning into this turning into this, getting funnier and also further from reality by degrees.
So here are the facts. Logos are personal. We all have ones we hate, and ones we’re borderline obsessed with. We’ve heard from lots of you recently that the Firefox logo — and specifically the fox — really does it for you. Well, fear not, because no matter what you think you heard on the internet, the fox isn’t leaving any time soon.