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SpongebobFan1994

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According to this recent article I found, https://www.eutimes.net/2022/03/duckduckgo-announces-mass-censorship-of-russian-disinformation/, Gabriel Weinberg, the CEO of DDG, made an announcement that he wants to decide (for you) what's factual information and what isn't. The ironic thing is Weinberg posted a tweet a few years ago criticizing Google for doing the same exact thing. My guess is he's developed a massive ego after being CEO for so many years, and this is an example of him going on a power trip. Thankfully, the silver lining in all of this is the web never forgets, and people like us will never let him live it down or get away with it.

What you can you do in response to this? There's actually a few things

Obviously the first thing is switch to a different search engine. I personally recommend ones that are FOSS because then you can review the source code and know what they're doing with your data.

Speaking of FOSS search engines, DDG itself is one of them, so go ahead and fork it if you wish. The more forks there are, and the more people who use them, the more we're giving Weinberg a run for his money.

If you have the money and background needed to do so, create your own competing search engine that doesn't use any DDG source code

Flood their "send feedback" link with complaints about this. Hopefully it will lead to public pressure and PR disaster, and in-turn cause Weinberg to step down as CEO.

Go to DDG headquarters and picket

Create a petition demanding Weinberg resign, share it all over the web, and use public pressure as leverage

Roast Weinberg and DDG by turning them into memes. If you're a comedian, include them in one of your upcoming routines. Because DDG's mascot is a duck, I recommend calling him Quackberg from now on. If you're good at using GIMP, make him look like a duck.

Despite the recent claims about the hacker group Anonymous devolving into big brother shills, keep in mind that anyone can use the name for any purpose. Because of that, you can also make an Anonymous video calling out Weinberg and DDG, and then share it all over the web as well. Doing that and including a link to your petition will be a one-two punch.
 
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wizardfromoz

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Moving this to Off Topic - it is a personal rant

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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What you can you do in response to this?
The first thing I do before getting my panties in a twist is to investigate the source. I'm not impressed with EU Times. Here's why.

While we are not allowed to discuss politics on this forum, please check out the EU Times About page. Especially note the sections on Ideology, Copyright, and Comment Section.

Should a "news source" even make statements about their Ideology?

Why Copyright? Well, for a "news source" claiming their copyright so proudly, you might think they would update the statement at the bottom of their web pages. 2009? Really? That's just sloppy and lazy. Very unprofessional.
copyright.png


Their Comment Section pulls no punches to tell you they will ban you if you bad-mouth their website. Free speech has its limits, doesn't it?

One last thing. In the right-side margin of their website, in the "Popular" section, there are 5 articles provided. All 5 of these articles are dated between 2009-2015. That's popular?

EU Times is not a credible source, in my opinion.

But a little Google or DDG would give you better information on the facts instead of the hype. There are many reputable news sources covering this story. Just a quick look at these sources points out that DDG will "downgrade" the rankings of disinformation, not censor or remove the disinformation.

If you think for just half a second about that, you should realize that you always want truth to be first in a search engine's ranking, not lies. At least I do. That is their very job, to provide you with the most relevant and accurate information to your query.

Finally, below is a nice little nugget from a related NY Times article. I'd recommend reading the entire article.
DuckDuckGo has little control over its search results because they are provided by Microsoft’s Bing... (cut here to avoid potential political reference)
 

forester

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I recently switched to Brave browser and will now have to use the
Brave Search Engine (after using Firefox and DDG for years), I guess.
 

KGIII

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In my country, we have a whole group of morons whose entirely belief system is based on misinformation. There's pretty much nothing they believe that's actually true, Some of them are legit 'skeptical' that the planet is round. (And have no idea what an oblate spheroid is.)

I've reached the point where I'm okay with search engines censoring misinformation 'cause it's better than what we have now. But, it's far too late for that. They now have their own networks of sites for 'news'. These networks of sites tie (many of them) back to Russia.

I'd say that such censorship should probably be optional. By default, you get censored results. To get the uncensored results you need to visit your preferences and select, "Check out of reality."

Since some recent events, there has been a huge drop in the Russian misinformation pages. So, that's nice... I guess. I mean, if you want a silver lining, that is. The people are still batcrap crazy and believe anything but reality. They just have less new content to read.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

SpongebobFan1994

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@Old Tom Bombadil

Actually, that was the wrong article. I copied and pasted the link for it by accident. This is the article I originally read: https://technical.ly/civic-news/duckduckgo-down-rank-russia-misinformation/ While the Russian government trying to spread it's influence through propaganda is bad enough, I'd still say Weinberg is only doing this to score brownie points for blindly participating in the mainstream narrative. Its no different than other companies shilling their products through arrogant self-righteousness (such as Nike giving Colin Kaepernick a megaphone). Not only that, but the individual user is more than capable of deciding for themselves what's fact and what's propaganda.
 

forester

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@Old Tom Bombadil

. . . While the Russian government trying to spread it's influence through propaganda is bad enough, I'd still say Weinberg is only doing this to score brownie points for blindly participating in the mainstream narrative. Its no different than other companies shilling their products through arrogant self-righteousness (such as Nike giving Colin Kaepernick a megaphone). Not only that, but the individual user is more than capable of deciding for themselves what's fact and what's propaganda.
I wonder?
 

tinfoil-hat

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I recently switched to Brave browser and will now have to use the
Brave Search Engine (after using Firefox and DDG for years), I guess.
This is what I did as well, when it comes to the browser. The TOR redrect ist very nice. The best is the Sync, I fell in love with it
 

Mike13Foxtrot

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I, myself, is a born skeptic. I never really trust "one source" of info for anything. I do not allow me to get all spun up over something which in the end turns out to be false, and that Falseness is the majority. He said this, ooops it was 180 degrees the other way. Flip a coin, the law of averages does not apply to news. You cannot be wrong that often even by accident.

The big "G" used to have a motto, "Do no evil" that has been removed.

Water is wet, news is more propaganda. Reporters seem to want to be part of the story. And they always ask the "street reporter" for their opinion.
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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Not only that, but the individual user is more than capable of deciding for themselves what's fact and what's propaganda.
Well, not always.

Quote below from your updated link:
Misinformation, which uses false information to deliberately mislead or deceive, is nearly a constant in 2022. It (political comment removed) has played into the spread of COVID-19, and is running rampant as Europe sees its biggest conflict since World War II.

Too many people are too easily deceived. That's why misinformation and disinformation is successful. Too many people are naive and gullible. That's why spam email and telemarketing scams are still successful. This is not a new phenomenon.

Your updated link provides some pro and con responses to the DDG "controversy." To me, there is no controversy at all. DDG is improving their algorithm to put truthful sources above fictitious sources. Good on them.


I'd say that such censorship should probably be optional. By default, you get censored results. To get the uncensored results you need to visit your preferences and select, "Check out of reality."
This is an excellent idea, and I'd love to see it implemented. It is nothing more than a "filter" that I would gladly opt into even if it were not default. To put it in perspective with the rest of my digital life: I use a filter on my email to keep out spam. I use a combo of Caller ID and my Contact List on my phone to avoid telemarketer calls. My email and phone providers help in this cause, and so would I welcome Google, DDG, or others, to help keep many deceptions from ever appearing in front of me, lest they be successful and I be fooled myself.
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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Actually, that was the wrong article. I copied and pasted the link for it by accident.
Then you should be more careful, especially with what you use as a source to begin a rant.


Its no different than other companies shilling their products through arrogant self-righteousness (such as Nike giving Colin Kaepernick a megaphone).
"Censorship" is my choice, whether it is to filter my email, block certain phone callers, turn off the game, or not purchase Nike or game tickets. What is arrogant, to me, is you railing against these freedoms, including your rant against DDG's choice to improve its search results. Nike and DDG have freedoms too.

Kaepernick may never play in the NFL again, but he won. The NFL allows kneeling. Further than that, the NFL will allow social justice messages to be displayed on player's game helmets. Good on them (for a change).
 
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KGIII

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I'd like to remind folks that political discussion, of any kind, is firmly against the rules.

Some of these comments are really, really threading the needle - some perhaps might be better served elsewhere on sites that allow such content.

We have this rule for a reason. So far, it has served us well.

So, you folks know who you are. Let's dial it back and concentrate on Linux. Thanks.

(And no, this isn't a first amendment matter. We are, quite distinctly, not the government.)
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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I have removed the one line that I guess you found objectionable.

Happy to stay within the rules. Sorry for the mistake, or near-mistake.
 

KGIII

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This is an excellent idea, and I'd love to see it implemented. It is nothing more than a "filter" that I would gladly opt into even if it were not default.

I missed this one.

Definitely...

Heck, I'd opt out of 'news' results entirely.

I have removed the one line that I guess you found objectionable.

Thanks. You're not alone. We're veering really close to political discussion and some of the above is political in nature.

We have this rule for a reason and it does make the site a much, much better place.

At the same time, I'm not an idiot. I realize how difficult it can be to discuss certain topics without also bringing politics into it - and legitimately so. So, we walk a fine line.

For me and my moderation (all mods are individual people) it's something like:

"Is this going to lead to emotional outbursts? Is this going to benefit anyone to have this discussion here? Is this something we absolutely need to discuss - and can it be done with civility?"

That's when I start to see red flags. I'm very much aware (and am often stifled myself) that some subjects are REALLY hard to talk about without politics being involved. The very first letter in FOSS is, well, capable of being political. The two are sometimes intertwined.
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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Is this something we absolutely need to discuss
There is little content in Off Topic that falls within that scope. :)

But I don't want to make your job harder and thought I was threading that needle carefully enough. Feel free to tell me if if I should edit more. I can take criticism and will be happy to oblige. Or feel free to edit my posts yourself, or delete if necessary. Some might take offense, but I won't.

I'd rather lurk on the forum anyway, but I've been on a binge lately. :oops:
 

KGIII

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There is little content in Off Topic that falls within that scope.

Indeed. We didn't have an off-topic for a long time. We only have off-topic because some rules were set in place.

I prefer to let folks know when they're approaching the edge. It makes my job easier - and I'm inherently lazy. We mods like to sit around and drink beer (or wine) and generally not be asked to do much. So, I let people know when they're approaching the line rather than wait to deal with it after they've crossed the line.

I also prefer to think of my job as being a janitor. That's all a moderator is. We're just glorified janitors who pick up the crap people threw on the proverbial floor. I've moderated large sites before and actually had to think for quite a while before I agreed to accept the role. My final choice was based on a couple of things, but one of the most important reasons is that we generally have a pretty good group of active users.

By all means, binge away. There's usually someone who you can help. You might as well pass on what you've learned. It's a good way to give back to the community.
 

Bartman

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I fail to see how a search engine monitoring and checking if posted links and information are legitimate or not legitimate be a bad thing.

Like every website isn't already into your stuff and collecting user data and information regardless of what they may tell you they're not doing.

Companies know that most users don't read the EULA before agreeing to what information collected is disclosed.

If DuckDuckGo eliminates non-legitimate information links that doesn't checkout than they're weeding through the BS and I don't have to.

If I don't agree with what I use I stop using it and find something else.
 
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