Has DuckDuckGo Gone Woke?

I seen some people talking on the internet this morning saying “DuckDuckGo has gone woke”. I thought I must be out of the loop so I started looking around and I found some things that are concerning.

UPDATE: 3/14/2020

This page has been blowing up on my site so I looked into it and it looks like duckduckgo’s CEO Gabriel Weinberg has admitted to manipulating search results.

DuckDuckGo Woke Hiring

The first thing I found was this post showing how a highly qualified person was turned down for a job. But then he reapplied as a black lesbian with only 5 years of experience who can’t program or spell. Then they got moved to the second round of interviews.

I don’t know if this is a true story and I don’t have much to go on right now so take it with a grain of salt.

DuckDuckGo Spying on users

You are being monitored

If the woke hiring post was the only thing then I would put it on the shelf and wait for more info. But I found more interesting things the more I looked. The one that bugged me the most and that I could test myself was the fact that DuckDuckGo seems to be spying on their users.

They are detecting everything you highlight in the search results and sending it to their servers.

To test this make sure JavaScript is on and hit F12 in your browser. Then go to the network tab. Do a search in DuckDuckGo then on the results page highlight something. You will see the the page is sending data back to DuckDuckGo every time. If you look at the data closer it tells them what you highlighted.

I have also heard reports that it sends back geolocations and other stuff as well. But I have all that disabled so I didn’t see that in my test.

Out of curiosity I did the same test on https://startpage.com/ and https://search.brave.com. No traffic is being sent back when I highlight things.

So what does all this mean?

I think it is still a little early to jump to a conclusion. But the more I look the more weird stuff I find. So I wanted to give my readers a heads up because I’ve suggested DuckDuckGo before. I use SearX for the most part now and DuckDuckGo was my backup. Now Brave Search or Startpage will be my backup.

It might be time to switch to another search engine. But I suggest you do some of your own research.

2 thoughts on “Has DuckDuckGo Gone Woke?

  1. Jenn

    on their donations page, DDG publish it themselves – they’ve donated 25K to UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), which “is a critical internet studies community committed to reimagining technology, championing racial justice, and strengthening democracy through research, culture, and public policy.” UCLA https://www.c2i2.ucla.edu/home/


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