DuckDuckGo Bows to Authoritarians, Begins Censoring Search Engine Results to “Fight Disinformation”

By Matt Agorist:

Arguably the world’s most popular private search engine, DuckDuckGo, has long been a haven for those who do not want to participate in Google’s censorship, manipulation, and tracking. In 2008, Gabriel Weinberg stared this mission with an emphasis on protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results that comes with all things Google.

Since its inception, the pro-privacy and anti-tracking business model has propelled the company from just a couple hundred thousand searches a month to over 100,000,000 searches every day. Their growth has been nearly exponential. But that all may be changing now.

This week, Weinberg, took everything his organization had been working on for years, and flushed it down the toilet with a single tweet.

Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️ At DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.

While this may seem like a noble gesture, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an unlawful and horrific invasion, the idea of a search engine which prides itself as anti-censorship and pro-privacy turning to the dark side and hiding information from its users, is not appealing to those who actually stand by these principles.

Moreover, who gets to decide what exactly constitutes “disinformation?” In his thread, in which he engaged with several users, Weinberg said nothing of transparency. Nor did he elaborate on what is and what isn’t disinformation or who would be telling DuckDuckGo what to censor.

If anything the last two years, and especially the last three weeks, have shown us that today’s disinformation is the next day’s reality and vice versa. So many stories have been called disinformation only to be proven true months later while, at the same time, overt disinformation has been presented as fact only to be proven false down the road.

Censorship never has and never will be used by anyone other than authoritarian regimes. It has never worked and never will work to create anything but ignorance and faith in tyrants. It reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself and is but a stepping stone on the path to totalitarianism.

As the famous German poet Heinrich Heine reminds us, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”

Source: Activist Post

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