Monday, March 14, 2022

BIG TECH 'DECIDES' WHAT'S TRUE: DuckDuckGo Down-Ranks Sites They Claim Are 'Russian Disinformation,' Imitating Biased and Distrusted 'Fact-Checkers'

Source: The Post Millennial

Published: March 10, 2022

By: Hannah Nightingale

"At DuckDuckGo, we’re been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation," Weinberg added.

On Thursday, search engine website DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg announced that the website would be down-ranking search results that are "associated with Russian disinformation."

Weinberg wrote on Twitter that he was "sickened" by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine "and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create."


"At DuckDuckGo, we’re been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation," Weinberg added.

He wrote that in addition to down-ranking, the company frequently places "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."

"DuckDuckGo's mission is to make simple privacy protection accessible to all. Privacy is a human right and transcends politics, which is why about 100 million people around the world use DuckDuckGo. (We don't have an exact count since we don't track people.)" Weinberg added.


DuckDuckGo's action joins a number of other companies taking stances against "Russian disinformation." Many users on Twitter pushed back at Weinberg, saying that they used DuckDuckGo precisely because it had not been filtering or suppressing search results.

Earlier this month, DirecTV announced that they would be dropping RT (Russia Today) from their channel offerings.

"In line with our previous agreement with RT America," DirecTV said in a statement, "we are accelerating this year's contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately."

The European Commission said in a statement the RT would be banned, calling it "the Kremlin's media machine." Google, TikTok, Facebook, Microsoft, and Roku have all banned RT, and are further restricting access to that content.

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