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firefox extension with a conscience

discovered via netsquared.org:

knowmore.org's firefox extension will alert a firefox user visiting a corporate url to knowmore.org's ratings of the company in their database, which is generated by users of the knowmore.org wiki. the wiki can also be searched by hand from knowmore.org's homepage.

corporations are rated in five categories: workers' rights, human rights, environmentalaaq influence, political influence, and business ethics. if you download and install the extension, an alert bar will appear at the top of your browser when you visit a rated company's website. additionally, any google search results that fall within rated companies' domains will be annotated with icons representing each of the five areas of concern, color-coded for quick analysis, and linked to the corporation's profile in the knowmore.org wiki.

it's interesting enough, although it didn't show me any alerts when I visited my wellsfargo.com banking page, but that may be because wells fargo has favorable ratings in the knowledge.org wiki--or that is, it has very few unfavorable ones.

installing the extension and clicking on my apple bookmark was revealing.

of course, the extension is devised for helping those who consume to become "responsible consumers" which can be more or less of an oxymoron depending upon one's point of view regarding exploitation of human and natural resources for profit. I guess until someone programs a "socrates" extension which prods those privileged enough to have internet access to question their assumptions down to the most basic level, this might be helpful as a stopgap method for helping us to think at least twice.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
I personally only do business with corporations that club baby seals. Couldn't something like that be maliciously changed by a competitor?

I don't like the search engine because as an end user I don't care if page text or page title is where the match was. "Walmart" should be close enough to "Wal-Mart." In addition to having the name of the company, it would be nice if they had let you search by ticker symbol in case you wanted to invest consciously. (It is much easier to type PBR instead of Petroleo Brasileiro.)

I think that Wal-mart has done some good lately. Their promotion of compact fluorescence has probably helped lead to cheaper compact fluorescent bulbs. Their response to Hurricane Katrina was excellent.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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