On Tuesday, conservatives received a free-speech, anti-censorship browser.
Jeff Bermant, a Santa Barbara real estate entrepreneur and pioneer of the Cocoon VPN, created the new browser Tusk.
He explained that he created Tusk because he believed that current browsers suppressed conservative discourse. Bermant told TechNewsWorld that they “truly don’t hold conservative ideas.” “Conservatives are getting a raw deal from the browser world.”
Two major Republicans on Tusk’s advisory board are also behind the Tusk venture: Stanton D. Anderson, who has served in various capacities in Republican administrations in Washington, D.C., and Scott W. Reed, who was Bob Dole’s campaign manager.
Tusk contains a media feed that allows users to customise the news sources in the feed. It is available for both Apple and Windows systems. According to the browser’s FAQ, the news feed only shows items from media outlets trusted by the user in order to support free expression and unearth stories hidden in other browsers’ search results.
“We’ve made it simple for a conservative or someone with center-right beliefs to open up a news feed and read news from the right,” Bermant said, “but we’ve also put in a lot of other news feeds because we believe in freedom of expression.” You may watch MSNBC, ABC, Mother Jones, or any other channel you wish.
According to the FAQ, the news feed includes pre-selected conservative media organisations such as Fox News, The Daily Wire, OANN, Newsmax, and Epoch Times.
Bookmark and tab management, the ability to import bookmarks and settings from other browsers, support for many Chrome extensions, a built-in password manager, and automatic updates are all features included in the browser.
On the Horizon is a Research Engine
“At the present, I don’t see anything that distinguishes Tusk as a chromium-based browser,” Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., remarked.
“It has a news feed that features conservative sites, which may be important to conservative customers,” he told TechNewsWorld. “However, Tusk does not yet offer its own search function.” “Because search is often the focus of browser-bias charges, Tusk’s news feed can’t yet replace other search providers,” says chevalier.
A search engine is in the pipeline, according to the Tusk FAQ. The browser uses Yahoo’s search engine until it goes online, however the software’s default search engine can be altered.
“No doubt they believe that the results we receive from Google, Bing, and whatever else is out there slant to the left,” Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said.
He told TechNewsWorld, “Google is set up to deliver you search results that you as a consumer would find most beneficial.” “They’ve built up their algorithms in such a way that misinformation doesn’t get to the top.” Tusk proposes that their preferred sources of information be elevated to the top.”
While Tusk bills itself as a replacement for popular browsers that restrict material and limit free expression, Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, opinion, and analysis website, claims that such browsers do neither.
He told TechNewsWorld that “Tusk is actually talking about search results and news sources, not the browser per se.” “It’s including its own search engine and right-leaning news stream,” says the source.
“The free speech claim only makes sense if you believe conservative or right-leaning sites and material are discriminated against, which several studies show they aren’t,” he continued.
He went on to say that censorship is the same way. “While browsers may screen pornographic content, there is no ideological censorship,” he explained.
“Tusk does not shy away from censorship,” he said. “It’s just boosting right-wing news outlets and websites,” says the author.
Vincent Raynauld, an assistant professor in Emerson College’s Department of Communication Studies, concurred. He told TechNewsWorld, “This is more of a public relations effort than a real revolution in how people would use a web browser.”
He explained, “The online browser provides a new market for this sort of item.” “It taps into the animosity that some members of the public have about not being able to access the stuff that they care about.”
Suffocating Speech is a Bad Business
“This entire notion of search curating and news curation seems to be fueling the conspiracy ideas of conservatives who feel they’re not getting the news they want,” Karen Kovacs North, director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities, added.
She told TechNewsWorld, “They feed on people’s anxiety that Big Brother is controlling what they view and that data is being gathered so they may be targeted because their beliefs are unpopular.”
Suffocating free expression would be terrible for business, according to Charles King, chief analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advising firm in Hayward, California.
He told TechNewsWorld, “Browsers commonly offer a handful of links that people visit frequently, are generally popular, or are promoted by advertising.” “You might argue that if a browser tried to suppress speech or prevent users from visiting sites they want to visit, it would be completely useless for tracking consumer behaviour and pushing marketers’ products and services.”
Competition is fierce.
Tusk will have to differentiate itself from other browsers in order to compete, which will not be an easy process. “Tusk’s major value appears to be offering a frictionless means for getting conservative news and material,” King said. “However, users may accomplish this themselves by bookmarking sites they enjoy or visit on a frequent basis.”
“The firm claims it doesn’t track users, gather data for profit, or develop user profiles,” he remarked, “but similar functionalities are readily available in existing browsers, such as DuckDuckGo and Firefox, or by utilising incognito mode in browsers, such as Chrome.”