DuckDuckGo downgraded Russian state media in search results

DuckDuckGo and Russian media

The founder and head of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, said that the search engine would lower Russian media and sites that spread “Russian propaganda” in search results.

Some were dissatisfied with this decision of the DuckDuckGo management, which has always focused on privacy and ethics.

On Twitter, Weinberg writes that sites “linked to Russian disinformation” will now be demoted in search results, and the search engine will also display special information fields at the top of the page to help users find accurate and high-quality information “on quick-opening topics”. Interestingly, Weinberg did not specify which sites are in question.

DuckDuckGo’s mission is to make simple privacy accessible to everyone. Privacy is a human right beyond politics, which is why about 100 million people use DuckDuckGo.Weinberg added.

Also, in a recent House hearing, Kathy McInnis, senior manager of public policy at DuckDuckGo, said the company had “paused” its cooperation with the Yandex search engine in the Russian and Turkish markets.

Twitter users accused the head of DuckDuckGo of censorship. They reminded him that the search engine has always pitted itself against Google as a more private and ethical alternative.

We do not need a search engine where that manipulates search results depending on the political and emotional perspectives of the CEO. What you “feel” about political events should not affect the relevance of the content in any way. Huge loss.writes one disgruntled user.

To this criticism, Weinberg responded as follows:

Search engines, by definition, tend to place more relevant content higher and less relevant content lower. It’s not censorship. It’s search-ranking relevance.

Later, Bleeping Computer journalists published the company’s official response to criticism on the pages of the media:

For every search query, search engines, by definition, must rank higher quality, relevant sites higher [in search results] over lower ones. It’s not censorship. It’s just ranking. DuckDuckGo does not censor search results. We are simply using the fact that these sites are engaged in active disinformation campaigns as a signal that the content they produce is of lower quality. Similarly, there are known signals for spam sites and other lower-quality content. <…> In addition to this approach, for selected media-worthy topics, we highlight authoritative news and provide reliable “instant answers” at the top of search results where they are viewed and most clicked on. We are now considering other possible actions.

DuckDuckGo downgraded Russian state media in search results

Let me remind you that we also wrote that Scammers spread malware under the mask of the Brave browser, and also that Firefox 100 and Chrome 100 may have user-agent issues.

By Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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