The above is the vision statement of Berlin-based search engine Ecosia. Many of us in the online world already know of them: their ecological focus, that 100% of their profits go to climate action, with at least 80% to tree-planting projects, or about their forward-thinking blogs and videos that shine a light on environmental issues. In today’s online world, they are exactly the type of company that many of us search out because they so profoundly live the values they claim, and because those values are the type that inspire many of us, especially at eyeo. That is why we are happy to announce that we are now in partnership with Ecosia. Ecosia Android users will now have more control online and an improved browsing experience, while still supporting content creators as, with the help of our ad-filtering technology, they will only see nonintrusive ads while browsing.
Part of what makes us so excited about this partnership with Ecosia is that we started out with a similar vision of empowerment. For us, that means putting people (internet users) at the forefront of a fair, prosperous and more private online experience, where they can decide how they want to surf, and how they can support content creators through our Acceptable Ads Standard. It’s not the same as planting trees, but the point is we see ourselves in their vision statement, in its essence and drive to make the world a better place. To have the kind of sustained online change we are fighting for, it’s important for us to believe that we can do good, and to believe that many stakeholders in the online world also want more than just ‘financial benefits’ but to truly achieve something that has a social and lasting impact.
The internet is a public good and access to quality journalism is important for all. It’s a safeguard against forms of corruption. Without good and profitable journalism, people in power will not be held accountable for the misinformation they spread and legitimate content becomes a privilege that is not available for everyone because of paywalls, or limiting conditions affecting accessibility, or lack of financial means. By finding a fair balance between user needs and the needs of advertisers, publishers and content creators, we are able to preserve an open internet. This affects all of us as humans.
It’s been a goal of ours to work more with Ecosia and move on from simply quoting their blogs in our own blog posts, to building links that could lead to a fruitful partnership based on improving the status quo. It finally happened, so here’s to a new relationship built on mutual regard for each other’s values.