DuckDuckGo

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A search engine that claims not to track its users, and which does not appear to be censoring this site as much as Google

DuckDuckGo logo and wordmark (2014-present).svg
Website.png https://duckduckgo.com  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

Owners: Duck Duck Go, Inc.
Constitutes: search engine,  official opposition narrative?

DuckDuckGo is a search engine, utilizing Microsoft Bing along with their own personal modifications.[1] It emphasizes that it doesn't track users, but was exposed as collecting data from its Android app.[2] The company came under increased scrutiny from 2020 on, as it began to form alliances with big media companies. CEO Gabriel Weinberg commented that: "I want to be clear that we did not and have not collected any personal information here."[3] As of 2021, it holds a less than 1% world market share,[4] but was sometimes referring more visitors to this site than Google, with about a 90% market share.

Official narrative

After years of increased censorship by Google, in July 2021 this site began to sometimes get more referrals from DuckDuckGo than from Google.

Old estranged brother of Wikispooks, Wikipedia says: "DuckDuckGo (also abbreviated as DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term." The site makes money by serving ads from the Yahoo-Bing search alliance network and through affiliate relationships with Amazon and eBay.[5] Nothing wrong here.

Functions

DDG is often placed in the top 5 of most popular SEs in the world, and most of its users are drawn to the promises of privacy, thereby attracting a lot of "conspiracy theorists"[6][7] according to former employees. It enjoys systematically positive coverage in the corporate media whenever alternatives for Google and Facebook are requested.[8][9]

Concerns

Internet-watchdog site Techrights placed a protruding list of historical incidents that happened at DDG. These include:[10]

  • Gabriel Weinberg has a history of privacy abuse, starting with his founding of Names DB[11], an early similar version of Facebook that was heavily focused on registering friends onto the site against theirs will in 2006[12].
  • DDG’s app was revealed in 2018 to be sending every website name a person visits to DDG servers, "for the purpose of identification by pictured icons of the website".
  • DDG collecting users’ operating systems and everything they highlight in the search results.
  • DDG is accused of fingerprinting users’ browsers by utilizing a script that can be easily targeted.

Connections

DDG is partnered with big-tech companies such as CloudFlare (who blocks Tor users and provide a significantly weak architectural website defense system acknowledged by TOR and dozens of web-designers), Amazon (who have dozens if not hundreds of privacy violations and are active lobbyists against anti-surveillance bills) and Yahoo (known for also handling deleted e-mails back to the intelligence agencies and voice-printing their users through Verizon).

Algorithm

Just like other big engines like Google, DDG's uses another legacy search engine - in this case Microsoft Bing - and their own mods with a web-crawler[13], but some of the crawler's sources and API (how the algorithm works) are partly hidden from the public, which is an accepted part of Google's works, but not expected from a search engine like DDG.

Subject-specific De-ranking?

As of January 2018, a page from ISGP was the #8 hit on DuckDuckGo for the search term "Dutroux Affair".[14] Several other search engines such as Yahoo[15], Bing[16], Yandex[17] and Gigablast[18] also included it in their top 10. By contrast, neither Google not StartPage returned any hits from the ISGP site in the top 100.

7th floor group

Full article: 7th Floor Group
A section of a partially redacted FBI document posted on Wikileaks which mentions the "7th Floor Group" as a "Shadow Government"

In January 2018, Wikispooks was the #30 hit for the search term "7th floor group" at DuckDuckGo[19]. This is an interesting contrast with Ask.com[20], Bing[21], Ecosia,[22] Google[23], Yahoo[24] and Yahoo),[25] who all listed it as the top result. Why DDG had such a low ranking at the time for the 7FG (when it gets its results from Bing) is unclear but suspicious, as it implies their own algorithm had something to do with it as DDG doesn't de-rank results based on servers (like Google does), location or Google account using the search term. This was apparently reversed[26] in 2021 for undisclosed reasons, placing Wikispooks over mainstream media articles.

Wikipedia had a long discussion[27] between their editors declaring the article "not notable enough". Wikipedia "not being a newspaper" (although they a current events page[28]) declared it "a fringe theory" (the sources being, FBI's own[29] and documents reported by media such as CNBC). It is another eerie example of strange censorship on Wikipedia.


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References

  1. https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/sources/?redir=1
  2. https://www.techworm.net/2020/07/duckduckgo-browser-track-website.html
  3. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23711597
  4. https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share#monthly-200901-202103
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuckDuckGo
  6. https://www.diggitmagazine.com/articles/dems-fraud-data-voids
  7. https://www.quora.com/Why-is-DuckDuckGo-increasingly-preferred-by-conspiracy-theorists
  8. https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/01/22/duckduckgo-ceo-dont-wait-for-zuckerberg-to-save-your-data.html
  9. https://www.foxnews.com/tech/sick-of-being-tracked-use-these-google-alternatives
  10. http://techrights.org/2020/07/02/ddg-privacy-abuser-in-disguise/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_Database
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/aqz3q8/the_history_of_duckduckgos_founder_is_disturbing/
  13. https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/sources/?redir=1
  14. http://archive.is/jef5X
  15. http://archive.is/YvvFI
  16. http://archive.is/yQpNg
  17. http://archive.is/TJpue
  18. http://archive.is/Q9lEF
  19. http://archive.is/UWZiZ
  20. http://archive.is/SerFN
  21. http://archive.is/B0PPM
  22. http://archive.is/KXewb
  23. http://archive.is/e0KEk
  24. http://archive.is/dyEeK
  25. http://archive.is/X3cRY
  26. http://archive.today/2021.03.15-214732/https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=7th+floor+group&ia=web 7th floor group
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/7th_Floor_Group
  28. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Current_events
  29. https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/17/fbi-releases-100-new-pages-on-clinton-email-probe.html