A new browser designed to support conservatives will launch on Tuesday. Called Tusk, the browser’s creator, Jeff Bermant, is a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based real estate developer and co-founder of Cocoon VPN.
He said that he built Tusk because he was concerned about the unfairness of social media restricting free speech for conservatives. They don t carry conservative views, Bermant explained in a report published by TechDeft The social media world is not giving conservatives a fair shake.
Also behind the Tusk enterprise are a couple of notable Republicans who are listed with Tusk on its advisory team. Stanton D. Anderson, who has previously served in a number of roles in the Republican administration of Washington, D.C, and Scott W. Reed, who was former presidential campaign manager for Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign and formerly oversaw Republican National Headquarters.
Available for both Apple and Windows products, Tusk includes a media feed that allows users to curate the news sources included on the feed. According to the FAQ section at the browser’s site, the news feed shows only articles that have been deemed trustworthy by a user to promote freedom of speech and uncensor buried stories in the resulting search results in search engines other than Tusk.
We have made it easy for a person who subscribes to center-right views to pull up a news feed and see the U.S. news from the right-hand side, said Bermant, but because we value freedom of speech, we also offer a lot of other news feeds. So if you want to see MSNBC, ABC, Mother Jones or something else, you can do that, too. You can change it easily.
According to the FAQ, the recommended feed relies on media organizations like Fox News, The Daily Wire, OANN, Newsmax, and Epoch Times, which are preselected for conservative viewers.
The browser integrates a broad range of features from competitor browsers, such as the ability to save bookmarks and settings, import bookmarks and settings from other browsers, support for a number of Chrome extensions, a built-in password manager, and automatic update functionality.
Search Engine on the Horizon
At the moment, I don t think Tusk stands out much as a chrome-based browsing program. Observed Will Duffield, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
Included is an info feed that accommodates conservative news outlets, which may be appropriate to conservative individuals, but presently it does not offer its own specialized search function. Search is the subject of claims that browsers favor one site over another, so while Tusk can fulfill your different news stream needs, it cannot completely replace them.
According to the Tusk FAQ, a search engine is in the works, and until it goes live, the browser is using Google’s search engine by default However, a user can modify the search engine’s default preferences.
No doubt I imagine the results we get from Google, Bing, and the others that are available skew to the left, and they want to create one that skews to the right. According to Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University in Boston.
Google will present you with search results that are frequently the most handy to you as a user, Google said in its official TechDeft. In doing so, they have set up their algorithms so fraudulent information does not rise to the top. Tusk is suggesting their important sources of info rise to the top.
We would probably consider opinions provided by Google to be more significant than relatives that are popular based on an extensive assortment of information, he mentioned.
Tusk is billing itself as as alternatives to browsers that censor content and muzzle free speech. Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news commentary and analysis website, argued that browsers censor content and do not muzzle free speech.
Tusk is quite prominently mentioning apps and news sources in its own browser, not the browser itself, he told TechDeft. It’s integrating its homegrown search engine and right-leaning news feed.
If you agree with the idea that conservative or right-leaning stuff are discriminated against as they do not adhere to studies, then this was a sound argument for free speech.
The same goes for censorship, as did. Web browsers may be able to filter adult content, but there’s still no ideological censorship going on, he said. Tusk doesn t avoid censorship, he noted. It’s an only promoting right-wing news sources and sites.
Vincent Raynald, an adjunct professor in the Communication Studies department at Emerson College in Boston, agreed. It’s a PR operation rather than an actual change of how people are going to use their browsers, he explained to TechDeft.
The web browser is a new market for this sort of thing, he said. It is tapping into the resentment that exists in some sectors of the public that they cannot access content that they value.
Bad Business of Stifling Speech
The idea of search curation and news curation seems to be feeding conservative conspiracy theories that are not receiving the news they want, said Karen Kovacs North, director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the University of Southern California.
They feed the weight of people’s paranoia that big brother is watching everything they do and collect that information so targets may be selected on false readings, users told TechDeft, citing Mozilla’s Citizen Kasper Stark-Rai. Limiting freedom would be bad for a browser, stated Charles King, the principal analyst with Pund-IT, a technology consulting firm in Hayward, Calif.
Web browsers often cache an array of links that people visit routinely, are usually popular or promoted by advertisers, observes Marty Rosenbluth. Individuals may argue that if a browser stopped in some way to solicit speech or prevent users from going to websites they like, this would be practically useless for tracking consumer behavior and promoting advertisers’ products and services.
If Tusk is to compete with other web browsers, it will have to distinguish itself first. Tusk’s main feature is providing a frictionless means for accessing conservative news and content. The method for doing so is straightforward: users may save their favorite sites to your site’s favorites section, or use a regular bookmark.
The company asserts that it does not monitor users, collects information to sell or gather profile information, but these functions are readily available in existing browsers, such as DuckDuckGo and Firefox, or with the incognito function in the browser, such as Chrome.
Undoubtedly there will be people who have the best intentions and make use of it, but it will remain a second-tier choice. If, however, the idea proves itself economically, it will remain viable with occasional use.