A. Khalid, Engadget:
The search engine DuckDuckGo will be down-ranking sites that spread Russian propaganda and disinformation. In a tweet, founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg wrote that the privacy-focused search engine would be releasing updates that would ensure Russian disinformation sites rank further down in search results. Earlier this month, DuckDuckGo announced it would pause its relationship with Russian-state owned search engine Yandex.
Every search engine makes ranking decisions and adjusts them as needed. It is a normal and responsible thing to do, as clarified in a statement provided by DuckDuckGo to Khalid which reads in part:
[…] It’s also important to note that down-ranking is different from censorship. We are simply using the fact that that these sites are engaging in active disinformation campaigns as a ranking signal that the content they produce is of lower quality, just like there are signals for spammy sites and other lower-quality content. […]