DuckDuckGo reverses course, will reduce Russian propaganda in search results

DuckDuckGo will be a low-profile site that spreads Russian propaganda and disinformation. In a tweet, founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg wrote that the privacy-focused search engine will release updates that will ensure that Russian disinformation sites rank lower in search results. Earlier this month, DuckDuckGo announced that it will do so Its relationship to the Russian state-owned search engine Yandex.

Even if for the right reasons, putting a thumbs up on search result metrics is an uncharacteristic move for the Pennsylvania-based search company. Unlike Google and major social media platforms, DuckDuckGo neglects to filter misleading content on or . number of platforms Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram have both started cutting down posts from Russian state media. Google was down the rankings From Russian state news agencies since 2017.

DuckDuckGo is known for being a “privacy-conscious” search engine that does not track its users or sell data to third parties. The company mainly makes money from affiliate links and . DuckDuckGo who regularly For digital rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the non-profit newsroom It has also been embraced by conspiracy theorists and far-right groups in recent years. Number of highlighted in The New York Times I found that the Bing search algorithm, which powers DuckDuckGo, shows more sites promoting conspiracy theories than Google.

Many fans of DuckDuckGo The search engine for its decision on Russia, likening it to “censorship”. It’s not clear if DuckDuckGo will make a file wider effort To reduce misinformation.

Weinberg did not detail in his tweet which Russian propaganda sites DuckDuckGo would target, or whether the search engine would target other types of disinformation, such as climate change or Covid-19. Engadget has contacted DuckDuckGo with these questions and will update when we receive a response.

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