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DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg on Wednesday announced the rollout of a new Google-style censorship scheme to down-rank websites he says are “associated with Russian disinformation.”
While DuckDuckGo has been a Google alternative for online browsing, the search engine is the latest member of the censorship club.
“Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️,” Weinberg tweeted. “At DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.”
“In addition to down-ranking sites associated with disinformation, we also often place news modules and information boxes at the top of DuckDuckGo search results (where they are seen and clicked the most) to highlight quality information for rapidly unfolding topics,” he continued.
Conservatives immediately took note and were infuriated by the proclaimed censorship which goes directly against the First Amendment no matter what your view on Russia is. Many are dumping the search engine over it.
Weinberg arrogantly lectured users who voiced opposition to his new censorship scheme.
The only quality search engine which doesn’t censor content based off political views now is Russia’s Yandex (at least if you’re outside Russia).
Evidently, Weinberg paused ties with Yandex a week or so ago:
Information Liberation also noted:
DuckDuckGo’s search results have gone to s**t over the past two years because they mostly just index Bing results (the two companies have a deal together).
Microsoft announced in late February that they’re going to manually demote RT and Sputnik in Bing search results, ban their apps from the Microsoft Store and ban them from advertising on their network.
Whether Weinberg is taking some “principled” stand against “Russian disinfo” or just following Microsoft’s lead because his site is mostly just a Bing scraper is not clear.
Weinberg told the New York Times last month that his company is now operating as a snitch for Bing.