Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of the search engine DuckDuckGo, on Wednesday told users the search engine company updated its platform in an attempt to fight against the spread of Russian disinformation.
That post has been met with backlash from numerous Twitter Inc TWTR users over the last two days.
What To Know: DuckDuckGo has enacted changes "that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation," according to Weinberg.
"Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create," Weinberg posted on Twitter as part of the update.
Many users questioned this decision, claiming the search engine should not have the power to decide what constitutes disinformation.
"We no longer trust anyone to decide for us what is 'misinformation.' Let us make our own calls about that," one user said.
"The whole point of DuckDuckGo is for you to NOT do that," another wrote — to which the DuckDuckGo CEO responded, "The whole point of DuckDuckGo is privacy."
Weinberg responded to several users who were questioning the company's decision, largely stressing that search engines are meant to show the most relevant content.
In addition to down-ranking sites associated with disinformation, DuckDuckGo also often places news at the top of search results in order to highlight quality information for rapidly unfolding topics, Weinberg explained.
"Privacy is a human right and transcends politics, which is why about 100 million people around the world use DuckDuckGo," he said before clarifying that the company doesn't have an exact count as a consequence of refraining from tracking individuals.
Photo: Mike W. from Flickr.
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