DuckDuckGo CEO says the company is not ‘purging’ pirate sites from search results


DuckDuck CEO Gabriel Weinberg took it to Twitter and informed that the “company is not purging any results.” This comes after reports emerged stating that the privacy centric search engine has removed the search results of many piracy related sites including The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and Fmovies.

According to The Verge, several YouTube ripping services have been removed from the search results of the privacy-focused search engine. Even the homepage of the open-source software youtube-mp3 is undiscoverable, according to the report.

A report by TorrentFreak notes that DuckDuckGo users were unable to search for pirated sites even after using the syntax “”. The company has called out the media reports “completely made up.” “Anyone can verify this by searching for an outlet and see it come up in results,” Weinberg tweeted.

Earlier in 2018, the company removed “bangs”—search commands on DuckDuckGo browser, which are preceded by an exclamation mark that make searching for content on specific websites easier.

“We are not “purging” YouTube-dl or The Pirate Bay and they both have actually been continuously available in our results if you search for them by name (which most people do). Our site: operator (which hardly anyone uses) is having issues which we are looking into,” Weinberg pointed out.

In March, the company said it would down rank any sites spreading Russian misinformation. “Search ranking and censorship are entirely different things. We make our results useful by ranking spam lower. We are not ranking based on any political agenda or my (or anyone else’s) personal political opinions. We are also not assessing any individual news stories. Unlike independent media, Russian state-sponsored media is highly censored and violations are punishable by jail time or worse. This makes it inherently more spammy relative to independent media. The same is true for all censored media,” Weinberg added in the same Twitter thread.

DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008. The company describes itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. It promises not to collect any IP address or any sensitive information of its users.

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