DuckDuckGo will down-rank Russian media sites to join the long list of tech companies that think you don’t know what’s good for you.
CEO Gabriel Weinberg announced on Wednesday that DuckDuckGo will down-rank Russian media outlets. DuckDuckGo has been an increasingly popular alternative to Google Search. Its unique value proposition has always been search privacy.
Another appeal to users is that DuckDuckGo’s search results are unbiased. On Google, the results you see are curated by what Google thinks you are likely to click. This is called the filter bubble. Because DuckDuckGo does not track your searches, it cannot use your search history against you.
Over the years, conservatives have noticed that DuckDuckGo did not censor or manipulate search results. There has been a stunning difference in search results between Google and DuckDuckGo on topics such as Hunter Biden and COVID Vacations.
So it came as a shock when the privacy search’s CEO announced DuckDuckGo would down-rank Russian media outlets in its search results.
Though DuckDuckGo never explicitly stated they would not follow a policy of manipulating search results, they must have been aware of their reputation for just that.
Many people have switched from Google to DuckDuckGo citing search result honesty.
If DuckDuckGo now opens the door to search manipulation, what exactly is their unique appeal over Google?
Search privacy is nice, but by and large most people don’t understand what that entails. What they do understand is if a tech company is going to impose values on them for the searches they make.
And it does seem that DuckDuckGo is heading in the direction of being just another nanny tech company. In addition to the above, Weinberg also announced that DuckDuckGo would be placing “information boxes” at the top of its search results.
The alleged purpose is to highlight quality information. In actual practice, these disclaimers are used to reenforce the narrative and classify opposing views as “dangerous”, “misleading” or “misinformation.”
Effectively, DuckDuckGo has signaled that it is willing to participate in classifying information as “dangerous” for public consumption.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Spotify are just a few of the Big Tech companies that already do this.
Silicon Valley seems to have an obsession with being the arbiters of what is and is not “correct” information. But they don’t have a problem with the likes of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News pumping out lies nonstop.
DuckDuckGo in Europe
A possible incentive to begin labeling search results and manipulating rankings is DuckDuckGo’s play for the European market.
DuckDuckGo has been lobbying the European Union to force Google to follow gatekeeper rules and thus open up the market to competitors.
DuckDuckGo picked up $100 million in investment capital last year. It signaled that it would be spending a good amount of that in dialing up marketing efforts in the EU.
If DuckDuckGo just blew a ton of cash in European marketing, its likely they want to preempt any trouble they’ll receive for NOT down-ranking or removing search results.
If this nanny tech nonsense is too much for you, we have listed out three search engine alternatives to Google and DuckDuckGo!
What do you think?
Is DuckDuckGo cucking itself, or is this just part of doing business in the EU?
Join the conversation on Twitter!