Media Lab, Joi Ito and Mozilla: a message to our community

By Mozilla Foundation | September 16, 2019

Like many, we have learned over recent weeks about the relationship Joi Ito and the Media Lab had with Jeffrey Epstein. Given Joi Ito’s history with Mozilla, we wanted to share information that clarifies our relationship to Ito and the Lab.

What is Joi Ito’s relationship to Mozilla?

Joi Ito was a Mozilla Foundation board member from 2005 to 2016. Ito contributed a reading list to the 2019 Mozilla Internet Health report. This reading list has been removed. Mozilla currently has no active ties with Ito.

What is Mozilla’s relationship to the MIT Media Lab?

Mozilla donated $250,000 to the MIT Media Lab in 2017 to support an Open Leadership Camp for non-profit executives, co-chaired by Ito and Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker. This project ended in 2018. Mozilla currently has no active ties with the Media Lab.

Mitchell Baker is a Research Affiliate with the Media Lab in connection with the Open Agriculture Initiative. This is an unpaid position. She is currently evaluating this status.

Is Mozilla currently funding other activities at MIT?

Mozilla is currently hosting a fellow in the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, which is part of the Comparative Media Studies Program in the School of Humanities. Mozilla has also funded research grants to other parts of MIT, such as CSAIL. These activities are not affiliated with the MIT Media Lab.

Did Mozilla raise money from Jeffrey Epstein?

No. We have reviewed our donor database and can confirm, based on that review, that Mozilla never received any funding from Epstein. Nor did we ever discuss Epstein with Ito or anyone, or identify Epstein as a possible donor.

Recent events underline the importance of ensuring that donors and donations reflect with good fundraising practices and align with organizational values. Mozilla regularly reviews who it is taking donations from to ensure our fundraising is aligned with the principles outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto.