FACT CHECK: Did DuckDuckGo CEO Announce Independent Media Outlets Will Be Purged From The Search Engine?
A photo shared on Facebook purports DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg announced the search engine would be “purging” independent media outlets from its results.
There is no evidence for this claim. A spokesperson for DuckDuckGo denied the engine would suppress certain results.
Google was accused of suppressing search results against Republican-leaning searches, according to Fox News, citing a report from the Media Research Center. The company told the outlet that third party analysis did not show signs of manipulation.
A Facebook post purports DuckDuckGo will be removing all independent media outlets. The post includes a screenshot of a tweet that shares an article from News Punch covering the announcement.
“DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg announced that the search engine will begin purging all independent media outlets from the platform,” the post reads.
The claim is incorrect. DuckDuckGo’s verified Twitter account previously confirmed that the claim is false in August 2022.
We do not censor search results. We understand that there are stories circulating alleging we are purging independent media outlets and other content from our search results. These accusations are not true. Also, getting off Google is essential for online privacy protection.
— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) August 22, 2022
“We understand that there are stories circulating alleging we are purging independent media outlets and other content from our search results. These accusations are not true,” the tweet reads in part.
The screenshot was also shared with Weinberg in April when the claim previously circulated, to which he responded in a tweet that the headline was made up. He also explained in March that the platform would down-rank “sites associated with disinformation” in response to Russia’s online misinformation campaign regarding its war with Ukraine.
A DuckDuckGo spokesperson directed Check Your Fact to another tweet from Weinberg debunking the claim that the DuckDuckGo is “purging” any media outlets from search results.
Hoping to clear up some misconceptions about our private search engine.
First, there is a completely made up headline going around this weekend. We are not “purging” any media outlets from results. Anyone can verify this by searching for an outlet and see it come up in results.
— Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg) April 17, 2022
This is completely made up,” The spokesperson added, also directing Check Your Fact to a news article from Heavy showing additional Twitter responses from Weinberg and DuckDuckGo debunking the claim.
News Punch, the source of the article, regularly publishes conspiracy theories and misinformation, according to Buzzfeed News. There is nothing on the website that identifies it as satire, but Google search results and FactCheck’s misinformation directory has credited News Punch with posting misinformation. (RELATED: Time Magazine Publish This Image Of British Home Secretary Wearing A Swastika?)
This is not the first time misinformation about a platform has been spread online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim Elon Musk copied a Donald Trump Tweet about activists.