One lone bastion had been DuckDuckGo, a search engine that ensured users their privacy and search results that were relatively unbiased. However, on March 9, the CEO of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, announced on Twitter that:
“Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create at DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search engine updates that down rank-size associated with Russian disinformation.”
The move by DuckDuckGo was only one in many made by social media platforms to reportedly clamp down on “disinformation” campaigns stemming from Russia.
And yet, you had to have been living under a rock to not have noticed the number of individuals complaining of censorship and reported removal of “misinformation” and “disinformation” from social media platforms in the last two years.
In fact, Google’s move to remove content they didn’t agree with cracked down in June 2019 when their algorithm replaced crowdsourcing with crowd control and removed nearly every article published on Mercola.com from the search engines.
The move by DuckDuckGo is yet another in a long list of censorship actions designed to keep you in the dark.
Essentially all search engines are censored as the majority of the small ones use Google’s search results. The advantage of most Google alternatives is they are private and don’t steal your data.
My current absolute favorite browser is Brave and recently they have a new search engine that can be selected in their settings menu.
Privacy-focused search engine no longer unbiased
In the short video below, author and comedian Jimmy Dore makes short work of the new DuckDuckGo censorship changes, pointedly asking what is so different about the Ukraine/Russian conflict that prompted policy change, which did not happen during other global issues.
Considering Wikipedia’s history of bias, it’s not surprising that the online “encyclopedia” is Google’s chosen arbiter of expertise and credibility.
As reported by TechCrunch in January 2019, Google donated $2 million to Wikimedia Endowment, Wikipedia’s parent organization and another $1.1 million to the Wikimedia Foundation.
To help sway public opinion and policy, Google has also recruited law professors to back up and promote its views. According to a 2017 Campaign for Accountability report, Google has paid academics in both the U.S. and Europe millions of dollars to influence public opinion and policymakers alike.
When you consider power assessment by looking at lobbying expenditures, Google is leading the pack on corporate spending on lobbying — efforts primarily aimed at eliminating competitors and gaining power over others.
According to a June 5, 2019, article in The New York Times, “… four of the biggest technology companies are amassing an army of lobbyists as they prepare for what could be an epic fight over their futures.”
The four companies — Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple — spent $55 million on lobbying in 2018, which is just under double what they spent in 2016. Google could potentially also garner some protection or aid from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
According to an Aljazeera report published in 2014, emails reveal a cozy relationship between Google and the NSA, with coordination occurring at the highest levels.
Two years later, in March 2016, Wired reported the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet and former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, had been chosen by the Pentagon to chair its new Defense Innovation Advisory Board.
Google holds enormous power over what people read, see and therefore likely believe.
Any dissenting view can be effectively stripped from the search results, so content is no longer crowdsourced by social signals, but instead is controlled by an alphabet soup of corporations bent on ensuring society follows their lead.
DuckDuckGo used to have a tenuous hold over unbiased results but has publicly announced its decision to relinquish it and cross over to join Google in the unrelenting effort to control your thoughts, behaviors and pocketbook.
Without access to independent journalism through search, it’s more important than ever to stay connected and share information across your network of friends and family.