New web browsers come on the scene all the time, and in most cases, few people seem to care. However, the new privacy-oriented browser called Dissenter is getting a lot of attention.
In this article, we’ll tell you why the Dissenter browser is getting a lot of attention, both positive and negative. It really goes to the heart of the war against free speech being waged by Big Tech and other groups around the world.
But don’t worry. Once we get done with the political stuff, we’ll take a quick look at the browser itself and give you our thoughts on whether you should give it a try.
Ready? We start with the dirty business of Internet censorship.
What is the Dissenter Browser and Why is it Controversial?
You might not think there would be anything controversial about a new web browser. But in this case, you would be wrong. There are two main areas of controversy related to the Dissenter Browser.
One comes from its origin. The other comes out of the censorship war raging across the Internet. We’re going to talk about them both, but we’ll start with the origin problem.
The Origin of Dissenter
To understand the problem with Dissenter’s origin, we need to talk about Google Chrome. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.
You probably know that Google Chrome is the most widely-used web browser in the world. What you may not know is that Chrome is based on an open-source browser called Chromium. Google created both of these browsers. The Chromium Project develops and maintains Chromium as an open-source project. That means that anyone can take a copy of the computer code for Chromium and modify it as they see fit.
This is exactly what the Google Chrome team does. They take a copy of the latest version of Chromium and add their own proprietary Google code to it, turning it into the latest version of Google Chrome. So far so good.
Another lesser-known fact is that several other web browsers are also based on Chromium. These include Opera, the latest versions of Microsoft Edge, and Brave, along with several others. There is nothing shady about this; since Chromium is open-source, using the code is perfectly legitimate.
Dissenter follows this tradition, but with a twist. Dissenter is created by Gab and based on Brave. This shouldn’t be a problem since Brave is open-source just like Chromium. But it turns out to have been a big problem for Brendan Eich, the CEO of Brave Software.
On April 17, 2019, Mr. Eich called the Gab team irrational for basing their Dissenter browser on his Brave browser code. The battle went back and forth between Mr. Eich, Gab, and a few others, with Eich finally escalating to this:
Answer this: what kind of parasite forks an open source browser to get an extension distributed to people who can already work around silly AppStore bans?
Brave is for users who dare to take back control of their data. Some who wants a detached comment system can use Dissenter.
— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) April 18, 2019
The argument went on for another few days but it is clear that: Mr. Eich doesn’t like Dissenter being built on Brave code, and since Brave is open-source, he can’t stop Gab from using that code.
Whatever you think of this Twitter battle, it shouldn’t have any impact on Dissenter in the long run. But this other area of controversy goes right to the core reason for the Dissenter browser’s existence and the attempts to destroy Gab, the company that created the browser.
Big Tech and “Progressives” Hate Gab
Aside from Mr. Eich, we don’t know of anyone who has a particular problem with the idea of another privacy browser coming on the scene. But Dissenter comes from Gab. And there are powerful forces that absolutely hate Gab and are doing everything they can to destroy the company.
First there was Gab
According to Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab, he created it to be a social media site that supported free speech. As long as you didn’t violate United States law, you would be able to say whatever you wanted on Gab.
This stand infuriates powerful forces like all the big social media companies, along with web hosting companies, payment processors, and others with “progressive” political views who demand that they alone can decide what is acceptable online speech and that have the responsibility to censor anything they don’t like.
On October 27, 2018, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked by a man shouting anti-semitic remarks. He killed 11 people and injured several more. When it was discovered that the man had an account on the Gab social network where he posted anti-semitic comments, that was used as a pretext for an apparently coordinated attack on Gab.
Gab has lost its payment processors, lost its web hosting, and was blasted in the media as a “safe haven” for extremists including white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the alt-right.
This all came about despite the fact that Gab worked with the police and FBI once they confirmed that the shooter had an account on its service. And despite the fact that the shooter appeared to have accounts on other social media sites which suffered no adverse effects from their presence. And despite the fact that anti-semitic comments appeared on other sites without repercussions.
Gab remained in business and eventually found new hosting. Then, in February 2019, it caused another ruckus by releasing the Dissenter extension.
Then There Was the Dissenter Extension
In recent years, the establishment media has been accused of political bias, incompetence, and outright lying to support a particular narrative. More and more people who felt that the media was acting in this way began to express their discontent and contempt in the comment sections of blogs and other online publications.
In response, these sites simply disabled the comment sections of their sites to keep people from disagreeing with them. As you can imagine, this angered people even more.
The team at Gab decided to address this problem by creating the Dissenter extension. Once you add the extension to your current web browser, you can comment on any web page. The comment is visible to anyone else visiting the same page if they too have the Dissenter extension installed.
Of course, this likely annoyed the folks who turned off their comment sections, to begin with. We don’t know all the details, but by April, the Dissenter extension was removed from Firefox’s add-ons gallery for reason of unspecified “abuse.”
The next day, Google banned the Dissenter extension from the Chrome store.
While the major Internet powers seemed determined to drive Gab and the Dissenter extension from the Internet, Torba told Breitbart News that:
That was in April. And now…
Now There is the Dissenter Browser
As we discussed at the top of this article, it is July 2019, and the Dissenter browser is here. It arrived as a fork of the Brave browser instead of Chromium, but it has arrived and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops.
A Quick Look at the Dissenter Browser
As we discussed earlier, the Dissenter browser is a fork of the Brave browser. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like Brave and it functions a lot like Brave.
This means, among other things, that Dissenter has lots of built-in privacy features.
- Ad blocking? Check!
- Cookie controls? Check!
- Browser Fingerprinting Controls? Check!
In other words, it has carried over the great security and privacy features that make Brave a favorite of privacy fans.
But this doesn’t mean that Dissenter is just a copy of Brave with a fresh coat of paint. There are some big differences too. Let’s look at the three biggest differences now.
The Brave Advertiser Support System is Gone
Part of the idea behind Brave is to block ads in general but allows ads that Brave feels are safe. It also allows users to reward content creators directly and eventually will reward users for viewing approved ads.
The system is complicated and the details aren’t really relevant here. What matters is that the reward system in Brave has been removed. Dissenter works like a regular browser with security built-in.
The Dissenter Extension is Built into the Browser
The reactions of the big tech companies and their friends against the Dissenter extension were a major trigger for the creation of the Dissenter browser. So, of course, the browser has the Dissenter commenting code built in.
When you use the Dissenter browser, you can attach comments to any web page, whether that page has a comment section or not. Anyone using the old Dissenter extension, or using the Dissenter browser can see those comments, add to them, even follow a favorite commenter.
Here’s what a YouTube page might look like when viewed with the Dissenter browser. Note the green Dissent This button circled in red at the bottom of the page.
Below is a page that Dissenters had commented on when we were working on this article. By clicking the green D at the top of the browser window, we were able to see the comments, like this:
Comments posted by users of Dissenter exist outside of the control of YouTube, Google, Twitter, or anyone else. And the Gab team is committed to only removing comments that violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
This stance does not sit well with all those who believe that speech on the Internet should be censored to allow only the viewpoints they approve of (companies such as YouTube, Google, Twitter, and so many others).
On July 13, 2019, shortly after Gab hit #1 in the Google Play Store, Alicia Powe reported that Google announced that it would ban Gab from its store unless it removed all user-generated content that the censors at Google feel is objectionable.
Apple has also banned Gab, so even if Gab one day publishes mobile versions of Dissenter, don’t expect to find it in any of the Big Tech app stores.
Indeed, the opposition to Gab’s no-censorship approach has gotten so strong that even F-Droid, a site that provides a home for Free and Open Source (FOSS) extensions for Android devices, announced that it would take a political stand. As Tom Parker at ReclaimTheNet.org puts it:
To make the whole situation even more pathetic, according to this thread on Reddit, F-Droid is censoring any discussion of its censorship of Gab. And if anyone doesn’t like it, they can go somewhere else to get their apps. Here’s a shot of the beginning of the thread:
This leads to the third big thing related to the Dissenter browser.
A New App Store is Coming
In reaction to the continuing censorship, Gab has stated that it will be creating its own app store for the Dissenter browser. One that doesn’t censor apps for their political views.
This is all we really know about it right now, but we’ll be watching to see what if anything comes of it. Given the way the Gab team announced they would create a browser and did it in just a few months, we shouldn’t have long to wait.
Gab made good on its promise to come out with its own web browser. While it is still under development, in our testing it seemed to work just fine.
If you want to test the Dissenter browser, you’ll need to download it directly from the Dissenter website. The browser is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux desktops.
P.S. If you do try to install the Dissenter browser on an Apple device, the following message, which appears on the Dissenter download page, is for you:
Also we always recommend using a VPN if you really care about protecting your data/privacy, even when using Dissenter. For good recommendations on the services we recommend, see out best VPN guide. Or check the reviews of our favorites Nordvpn & Expressvpn.
- Reddit’s Thread about F-Droid’s censorship of Gab
- Difference between Chrome and Chromium
The Dissenter stance does not sit well with all those who believe that speech on the Internet should be censored to allow only the deceitful destructive subversive viewpoints that satanic NWO Bolshevist genocidal mass murdering maniac Communists and Pedophiles approve of CIA Mind Control (companies such as YouTube, Google, Twitter, and many others whom worship Satan and endeavor to deceive and insight violence against good people whom resist their demonic prison planet eternal enslavement and the ritualistic sacrifice of innocent children by the so called elites.
Good balanced article !
p.s. The Gab app store is small, but you can find it on gab.com.
Good work. Big tech should broken.
Why is this the first result on Google for “Dissenter Browser”? All the more reason for Dissenter Browser methinks.
Does it still work?
Doesn’t do anything when I try it….can’t load any websites.
Works great here.
It does everything the Brave browser does lol I downloaded it today and tested everything… this browser is fast as fuck tbh.
I’ve been using it since it came out. It’s almost indistinguishable from Brave except better as it doesn’t spam you to allow ads.
The gab stuff is just a bonus.
I like the browser but wish it had its own news page feed. Also, when I click on the dissenter icon to post a comment on a news story I read on Yahoo or MSN, the majority of times I am the only commenter. Dissenter and Gab need to do a better job of marketing their product and getting out the fact of how they were unfairly targeted and lied about. IMO they are not doing a very good job countering the narrative that their sites are only used by right wing nazis.
“ Dissenter and Gab need to do a better job of marketing their product and getting out the fact of how they were unfairly targeted and lied about.”
YOU DO IT.
I’ve been getting a network error when I try to download dissenter browser.
Some of the default Gab news sources, Breitbart, Infowars, Fox…
I have immediately uninstalled this trash of so called “free speech”.
These immoral scum have no shame…
I would have to say if you would look into the mirror, and see your reflection you will take note, that you are the one who is the immoral shameful, hater of truth. Just by your offensive response you are a swamp creature from the deep lagoon.
Have a nice day.
I see… apparently free speech is OK for godamyouslot but not allowed for anyone else. You probably think the 2nd amendment is much more important the the 1st
Keep Trolling Gab! The Sapo of the Sillicon Valley Cartel
Dissenter doesn’t play nice when I want to look at Fox News. Mostly its very S L O W. I corresponded with the staff but, to date no fix has been forthcoming.
Very helpful review and balanced backgrounder. Thank you, Bill!
Right now we are watching Parler be destroyed and Gab the last man standing. The Big Tech arms of the Democrat Party silencing over half of our nation’s voices. Perhaps the greatest election fraud in history read to be left uncontested, undiscovered and never prosecuted. Yet if just a million of us (heck 100,000 of us) hired the best legal team and researchers on the planet couldn’t we lodge a fight of we the people to stop the Ephesians 6:12 powered Democrat Party.
LORD HELP THE USA AND GAB AND ALL FIGHT. Repent, saved in Jesus = USA STAND!!!!
I’d be in on that in a heartbeat.
Hopefully we will get more competition as time goes by.
I think big tech may have started a space race that will ultimately destroy THEM!
I’ve installed Dissenter and it works very well!… I am whole heartedly in favor of supporting these guys!!
Some advice to the Gab team… for goodness sake… at least don’t send the help menu straight to the Brave help page LOL!!… I think some clean up would be worth the effort.
Also a software update button in the file menu would be nice… I assume that you are going to have and will need lots of updates, so an easy update button would be extremely useful to us users.
Also a mailing list to get information out would be good!
We are really trying to help by using this bowser… even if it means some clunkiness, so please make our lives as users a little bit easier:-)
With that said, THANK YOU for standing up to these communists that have taken over our country!
Good, informative review…I support all the CONSTITUTIONAL principles that Dissenter is built on. I’m using it now since Brave alienated scores of thousands users who use Yosemite 10.10.5, by disabling the Browser after a close, with NO WARNING…The reason? they won’t be able to provide “security updates in “the future” based on the Chromium platform. Even Google hasn’t pulled a punk move like, even if you haven’t diabled auto update as of today.
Anyways, Dissenter needs to provide a fix for this going forward – hopefully a dedicated version for older Mac OS etc versions. In any case I really like it – it imports bookmarks when you set it up and it’s easy enough to port passwords and recreate w/e extensions you like to use. Also it’s super fast – like a Brave without the BAT ads and crypto bloat. I don’t really care about the extension – to me it’s just another level of dumbed down social “media” madness. And isn’t that at the core of the problem we have with big tech? That people willingly surrender to the hypnosis and insanity of cyber “reality?
Like Gil Scott Heron said in the 1970s, and he was correct – “The revolution will not be televised”. We need to wean ourself off of this dependance on digital communication.
Cannot install this on my iMac. Current OS. Error message says that the application cannot be verified as free of malware so it will not install it. What do we have to do to get back to the old free America?
So much for dissent if you have to moderate even the most banal of postings.
STOP FEEDING THE BEAST.
CANCEL YOR PRIME ACCOUNT
SHOP LOCAL OR OTHER ONLINE STORES
STOP PUTTING MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF THE GUY
WHO IS HELPING BIDEN, CHINA, BLM & ANTIFA
TO STEAMROLL AMERICA
(pass it on)
Thank you, this was a very informative review and assisted me in deciding to utilize the Dissenter Browser. WE live in a very dark world where lawlessness, lies, and hate towards truth is prevalent, and those who hate the truth will desire to shut up those that represent it by using methods of evil to accomplish their goal. They are the ones who are condemned already, and shall be held accountable for the atrocities they have done against humanity. As the Good Lord has stated all those that shall work evil shall perish without hope, and that which they have sowed they shall reap. No hope and no mercy shall be their lot.
I pity their poor souls which dwell in darkness……..they shall never see the Light.
The reason commentators section is slowly disappearing from the American newspapers, and online media is very disturbing and anti-American. The Democrats do not want any voice against their dictatorial control is just mirroring the communists, nazi, and socialist rule they are leading. This is the beginning of the end of American Spirit. How sad and we must not support them. They stole the election is clearly evident and are moving forward with distroying any opposition to their socialist rulings.
President Donald Trump is and still is the last American President of the United States. Now we are divided and the socialist have taken political power. Please pass the word on we must fight them.
I like it for some purposes. But I found out today that on Twitter, using Dissenter, I cannot access my Lists! They do not appear as a tab on my profile page or home page. I reloaded and still no dice. I go to my Google browser and the Lists tab is right there. Twitter is of little use to me without Lists so I cannot use it with Dissenter. Bummer.
Would like to kick the tires on this one. Unfortunately, this browser is rarely updated. Last update is from March of 2020. Some extensions will not work when Chromium is on version 88 and this browser is using version 80.
You did not approve my comment and it is gone. But the comment was correct. Dissenter does not allow me to use Lists on Twitter! I just checked again. I loaded my Twitter page on Dissenter. On my Twitter Profile page, there is no Lists tab. On my Twitter Home page, there is no Lists tab. Without clicking on the Lists tab, there is no way to get to my Twitter Lists. Dissenter does not work with Twitter unless you never use Lists, but I use them all the time so I have to use a different browser. Did you check this? I am right.
I find it odd that you are trying to use a browser for free speech to access an anti-free speech platform – monetizing a communist child porn promoting thug like Jack Dorsey. The fact that you people are still using this platform is exactly why us Americans will lose the Constitution and the freedoms (to which we are seeing eroded presently) we were born into that our founding fathers and ancestors gave their fortunes and lives for.
The only negative thing I have found, is so far I am the only person using Dissenter at Townhall, RedState, Breitbart, JustTheNews, City-Data (which in s huge disappointment), BogleHeads, and MorningStar.
In fact, I have yet to run across a single post from anyone else using Dissenter.
I haven’t got a Gab account because I stay the hell away from ALL social media. I will be supporting Torba and using his browser though, because I believe in free speech and what he’s doing is very admirable. He’s one out in a den full of cowards and parasites and he hasn’t let them beat him.
Never forget, the people calling for censorship based on words do not get to define what ‘hate speech’, ‘intolerance’ and ‘disinformation’ is. They are just broad terms that allows them to apply these thought crimes on whoever they wish. It’s the equivalent of screaming “she’s a witch!” back in the 1500’s. They rely on this because their ideology sucks and they have to protect it at all cost. If they knew their ideology was good they wouldn’t have to censor challengers. An average of 82% of the public oppose their ideas. The only people who believe in their ideology are them, and the people they’ve managed to brainwash. A Spanish politician was suspended from Twitter today because he stated “A man cannot get pregnant. A man has neither uterus nor ovaries.” << Hate speech apparently…
What this article DOES NOT EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE—-
There is a HUGE difference between MODERATION and CENSORSHIP!
Moderation monitors peoples comments, to make sure there aren’t any comments using offensive language, especially that can be seen by children. You can still “keep it REAL”, without getting “nasty” with your comments. Moderators only monitor the actual language of the content. Of course, like everything else, this can be taken to EXTREMES, such as AOL does. They claim “free speech”, but unless you align with THEIR views and values, they will DELETE your comment, EVEN IF IT IS CLEAN……..and that becomes censorship.
Censorship restricts peoples comments to those that have aligned their values with that of the webpage/site they are on. If you have anything to say that is in opposition to the webpages/sites views, agenda, or propaganda……you will be shut down and/or cut off.
Just because there IS a comment section, does not mean you can comment ANYTHING.
You can say what you have to say without using offensive and nasty language.
I’ve tried many VPN’s before, and they just do not work. I mean, they work, but the sites I access on a daily basis do not allow access if you are using a VPN, so that renders VPN’s completely useless to me and a waste of money. Even with “private browsing” extensions, I can’t get into a lot of sites.
It’s getting extremely difficult to find any “safe haven” for being a commenter online, as more and more companies/sites/webpages are finding ways to block people from using VPN’s and private browsing extensions.
I will try this Dissenter browser. But if I cannot use it on the sites I access daily, then I will delete it. I hope it works though, as many of the news sites I do access have hidden their comments.
Why did you place quotation marks around “free speech” in the headline?