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DuckDuckGo going the way of Google?

Yes, ditch Google. By all means. Just be aware that:

* Stopping your use of the Google search engine is just the start. A small, very modest start. You will have a lot more work to do to “deGoogle” from the Borg—and that’s not mentioning the rest: Facebook, Twitter, etc—though that is a vast subject, way beyond the scope of this post.

* Switching to DuckDuckGo is, if not worse, at the very least not better in the context of this culture war.

And when I say “if not worse”, it’s more rhetorical mannerism than anything else.

In your quest to reject Google and the rest of the hostiles, you will have to do your homework. If you’re looking at DuckDuckGo, start with the FEC site. You will see, for instance, that for 2019-2020, all the donations from DuckDuckGo employees have gone Left.

Let that sink in. While not all of DuckDuckGo’s 124 employees have donated, not one has donated outside of the Party line.

The Dissident Frogman

22 comments to DuckDuckGo going the way of Google?

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    In the belief that resistance isn’t futile, I switched from Google to DuckDuckGo a while ago. Now this. Can anyone recommend a search engine run by people who are not left-wing and truly love freedom?

  • Allen

    Someone you meet in person?

  • bobby b

    One switches from Google to DDG in order to thwart the tracing of your internet use from which Google profits, not because DDG is a less woke group.

    It would be nice if you could accomplish both by switching, but so far I’ve seen no other search engine that qualifies.

  • Phil B

    Try Swisscows as an alternative (recommended to me by a friend in computer security):

    https://swisscows.com/?culture=en

  • Fraser Orr

    I think this OP completely misses the point, and it is what we saw after the election debacle. The goal is not to set up a Google like infrastructure to reflect the right’s point of view, it is to encourage a thriving ecosystem of competing options. The point of degoogling is not to find some other google shaped organization that meets your right wing needs, rather it is to have a plethora of viable choices for your various internet services.

    And to do that involves inverting the pyramid. The power of Google, and to an even greater extent Twitter, Facebook etc. comes from the network effect, the central hub design, whereas from its very roots the internet was designed to be a distributed system. It is through things like blog rolls, and RSS feeds, and those little web rings that used to exist that the power of referral can be distributed.

    I do not at all look forward to a Donald Trump funded Social Media network. It doesn’t solve the problem, in fact I think it’ll make it worse.

    (BTW, off-topically, I am kind of torn because, as described above, I am very much in favor of the idea of federalism, and the broad distribution of power, but am vehemently opposed to Scottish independence. Two positions that seems hard to reconcile, except to say that the power of competition lies in the process of creative destruction, and Scotland, a place I honestly love a great deal, is run by a bunch of twats.)

  • Phil, I started trying out Swisscows a weeks ago, so haven’t had time to form firm opinion yet. Did this before now discovering DDG might not be trustworthy, decided to try Swisscows because DDG seems a bit lacking. Not convinced Swisscows will work for me either.

  • One switches from Google to DDG in order to thwart the tracing of your internet use from which Google profits, not because DDG is a less woke group.

    My main reason for abandoning Google was not so much tracking (although that is an issue, for sure) but rather I don’t trust Google not to skew results based on politically motivated algorithms. Plus when a company removes “Don’t be evil” from their mission statement, I think they’re making their world view pretty clear 🤣

    If DDG turns out to be a company full of people with similar world views to the folks at Google, I am not inclined to trust their results either, even if they don’t track me.

  • bobby b

    “My main reason for abandoning Google was not so much tracking (although that is an issue, for sure) but rather I don’t trust Google not to skew results based on politically motivated algorithms.”

    Also a great reason. I keep doing my own little tests – comparing a search on Google to a search on DDG – and there is still a difference. I still see mostly progressive sites atop Google results and a mix on DDG – but I have no way to tell if DDG is simply just a little bit better than Google. Time to add some of these new-to-me sites into the test mix.

  • Duncan S

    I use google as a search engine. I access it via a browser on my laptop, and, whilst I’m aware that it’s results may be skewed, for the majority of what I’m searching for that is not a concern.

    As I use a browser, on a laptop, and do not possess a “tablet”, I had, until recently, never encountered the Google App. A friend was visiting me and she uses an Ipad, so I finally saw the google App.

    I was shocked to see that the app pushes links to news stories. My friend, after searching for something, e.g. the definition of a word, would then sit and read the stories which Google has decided she should read. That’s where the bigger problem lies.

  • Phil B

    I think that the problem is mainly down to two factors:

    1) The majority of people working in software companies, particularly new start ups, are young (say under 30 to 35) so their views and attitudes will strongly influence the company culture.

    2) Those same young people have been educated and marinated in a left wing, extremely politicised education system and gone to University with more of the same. Hence their left wing, “capitalism has failed”, Globull Warbling is real and must be stopped, progressive attitudes which are so intrinsic to their thought processes that they can no more question them than a plant growing towards the light can reason why it behaves as it does.

    As Hitler said (and I quote from memory), “I don’t care if you support me or not. I have your children and they are the future”. He was right.

    As I said, Swisscows was recommended to me by a computer security friend. It may be the “least worst” of the bunch so I have no firm opinion either way. I rely on commentators mentioning other blogs, discussion forums etc. to track down alternative points of view.

  • John B

    An assumption is being made that DDG’s product will be skewed to the Left because of reported workforce political alliance.

    Some evidence would be nice.

    Do we chose what good to use based on the majority political hue of a company’s workforce? That is going to involve a lot of enquiry before we by a TV, shirt, tin of peas, etc.

    Is it not best to chose according to the performance of the good?

    I use DDG (and Brave browser) because they work well enough, I like to encourage competition and both promise not to use my data for tracking or to filter searches.

    There is a French search engine Qwant which similarly works well without tracking or skewing results.

  • Paul Marks

    As has been pointed many times…..

    It is the education system – the schools and the universities.

    People are indoctrinated with leftist doctrines long before they arrive at Google or Duck-Duck-Go.

    Or arrive in the media – or the “Justice” Department and the FBI.

    “Practical” people argued that what is taught at school and university did not matter – because people would “wise up” when they entered the “real world”.

    Well that claim has been shown to be total nonsense – the “practical” people were fools.

    If someone is taught at school and university that being a Conservative is to be a “Fascist”, and that Freedom of Speech is “Repressive Tolerance” which “harms” “exploited and oppressed groups” they will not automatically stop believing all this Frankfurt School Marxism (for that is what it is – Frankfurt School Marxism) when they get a job at “Duck-Duck-Go” or the FBI.

    Education matters – the domination of schools and universities by LIES matters.

  • Paul Marks

    “Some evidence would be nice”.

    For Google there is plenty of evidence – Dr Robert Epstein (a life long Democrat) showed how Google systematically twists searches to benefit the political and cultural left.

    Why should Dr Epstein devote years of his life to showing that “DuckDUckGo” is systematically biased in its search procedures – when his findings were ignored (or smeared) for Google?

    No one did anything about it.

  • Do we chose what good to use based on the majority political hue of a company’s workforce?

    Increasingly yes, that is exactly what I do. I give nothing to Apple, I give as little as possible to Google. There are some companies I will not buy from even if they were the last providers in the world.

    Is it not best to chose according to the performance of the good?

    No, I am not Homo Economicus, not everything is judged according to such narrow criteria. I go out of my way to avoid giving money to my enemies with varying degrees of success (for example, it is very hard to avoid things made in China but when there is a viable alternative that is ‘good enough’, I certainly do).

  • Carnivorous Bookworm

    Swisscows is just “Google for wholesome conservative family types” with an aversion to p0rn. If you want a search engine that just, you know, searches rather than sticks it’s thumb on the scales, all you get from Swisscows is a *different* set of political biases (& to their credit, they’re quite open about this, unlike Goggle).

    Still looking for a better replacement for DDG, am trying Whaleslide as suggested above, will see what I can find out about them.

  • Swisscows landing page says (among other things): “Our search results do not include sexual and / or pornographic content.”

    Which is all well and good, but how do I know what they or their algorithms consider pornographic? I like anime, but some has been brought to court for pornography. One I very much like surely would never have been a Swisscows search result. I don’t mind missing out on “Legend of the Overfiend” — I have a ten-foot-pole I wouldn’t touch it with — but “Kekko Kamen” is more parody than pornographic, and there are many others which would straddle that line. And what would they do with political or religious sites?

    WhaleSlide is unabashedly commercial. DuckDuckGo seems the least of the evils I have been pointed to, so far.

  • In the belief that resistance isn’t futile, I switched from Google to DuckDuckGo a while ago. Now this. Can anyone recommend a search engine run by people who are not left-wing and truly love freedom?

    In the pursuit of a company that doesn’t treat me as a source of data I’ve currently settled on startpage.com, it isn’t perfect, but it allows me to setup a configuration without tracking, gives decent results (unlike Bing) and is pretty fast. I like it.

    I use DDG (and Brave browser) because they work well enough, I like to encourage competition and both promise not to use my data for tracking or to filter searches.

    I flirted with Brave, but found the crypto stuff worrying. I’ve recently switched browsers to “Ungoogled Chromium”, which is a version of open source chrome browser with all the phone-home back to the Googleplex removed. It’s a bit of a work in progress and I struggled to get Ublock Origin and Lasspass password manager working, but we’re there now and it behaves pretty smoothly.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry is right – a company is just the people who work there.

    If the people who control a company want to destroy me and destroy people like me – why should I give them money?

    The idea of entirely neutral business enterprises interested only in profits – that is a nice idea of Milton Friedman, it is not the real world.

    I do not think it ever was – after all slave owners sometimes would not have Wedgewood china in the house, because Mr Wedgewood was known to be anti slavery, and he would send out SOME (some) china FREE (if, there is always a catch, you accepted the china with the anti slavery slogans on it).

    If you had said to Mr Wedgewood “you would make more money if you did not do stuff like this” – he would have agreed with you, but he would also have said that his life was not just about making money. That was a means to an end for him – not the end itself.

    What a person makes reflects their own values – if the goods are not high quality the person does not really care about their work.

    In the end I suspect that people like that do not create companies that LAST – “I am here to screw the maximum amount of money out of the suckers – and when they wise up, I will be long gone” is not a good attitude.

  • Paul Marks

    I think people can smell fakery.

    For example, when Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (which is really part of the vast Unilever Corporation) does its peace, love and Marxist BLM adverts (“peace and love” meaning KILL, KILL, KILL), the fakery smells to high heaven (they do not really give a toss).

    I am told that, in private, Jeff Bezos is anti taxes and so on – and that the “Woke” socialism of his Amazon Corporation is all a dishonest pose. It certainly has the smell of fakery.

  • NumberSix

    I’ve been using startpage.com, which is a “shim” for google.com. While you’re still subject to Google’s search engine bias, you’re relieved of the tracking etc. Their (reliable, I think) claim is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, everyone will get the same results using the same search string.

    It’s not perfect, but it is pretty fast and they’re very open about their limitations.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Paul Marks
    If you had said to Mr Wedgewood “you would make more money if you did not do stuff like this” – he would have agreed with you, but he would also have said that his life was not just about making money. That was a means to an end for him – not the end itself.

    Right but it was Wedgewood’s company. Amazon is owned by its shareholders. And I think that one of the real hidden sources of all this woke corporate stuff comes from huge unions and government run pension funds that have large holdings and use their position to push a political agenda. All the more reason for such things to no exist.

    However, I would offer a thought about companies not entirely acting in their economic self interest. I write software, and I can tell you that developing software that is inclusive of people with disabilities like deafness and blindness or poor sight has a pretty significant impact on the cost of software development, and for sure the small number of people who have these disadvantages do not form a large enough customer base to justify the extra cost (speaking in generalities of course.) But I think it is still the right thing to do, and I would still think that were there not a legal threat from the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Most small companies do not incur the cost though, FWIW, the vast majority of web sites are not ADA compliant. Large companies do, I think probably under threat of legal action, but I would be overly cynical to say that was the only cause. It was actually Tim Cook who made me think of this originally (and I say this as a person who thinks Apple is a truly vile corporation, one from which I would never buy anything.)

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