So, this is interesting. I wanted to find that essay by @dessalines@lemmy.ml outlining the many issues of Signal and suggested alternatives, but DuckDuckGo had nothing for me. Not on the first page, not on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th page.

I thought maybe I just imagined the title, but sure enough, on searching lemmy posts, it was right there. Then I thought “hang on, there’s hardly a mention let alone criticism of signal on any page of those search results!”.

Hmm… the wording might be a bit ambiguous, but let’s compare:

All of the following except Gigablast returned a healthy list of results including the original essay:

The main issue is that DDG is so bad that you can’t tell if it’s just downranking because they didn’t like the topic or if it’s just DDG being the utter shite that DDG is.

Apparently it takes results from Bing and Yahoo so no wonder it sucks. Funny, I was looking at the Wiki page and it says “DuckDuckGo does not show search results from content farms”. That’s gonna be a big X to doubt from me.

Extremely surprised to see Bing show it, since DDG apparently gets their search results from there

DDG was the only ones you could count on to make Bing worse than it is.

DDG has been increasingly home growing their search algorithm.

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Don’t ask me why but try ""why not signal"" with two quotation marks at the beginning and the end

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I tried a couple more:

…looks like DDG has an undocumented NOT operator, which for some reason is not deactivated when in a long quote, but is deactivated when the phrase is bracketed in quoted nothings. “” “”

But still doesn’t quite explain how "why not signal" dessalines does return a result.

“regex is hard”, I guess.

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  • DDG: why not signal dessalines
    • Good results.
  • DDG: dessalines why not signal
    • No good results. The hint (Not many results contain signal Search only for dessalines why "signal"?) gives a clue that not has a special interpretation and that the parsing algorithm is very confused about what it’s being told to do.

Tinfoil hat or Hanlon’s razor? :-P

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Wow! You are on to something. I triedit with a couple of search strings and it looks like the not operator is working, e.g. reeperbahn not hamburg returns results which are not related to hamburg. And two quotes will ignore the not operator

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deleted by creator

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@rcbrk Yes, there’s something wrong. I’ve been using ddg for years but lately more and more often I have to use something else to find what I’m looking for.

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Works for me, tho. HTML ddg put dessalines essay on first result

Interesting. I got curious as to whether it was actually delisted or just that DuckDuckGo was bad at ranking results, so I tried searching a quote from the article:

Signal became one of the first platforms to develop and use an end-to-end-encryption (E2EE) system and open standard, which many other platforms adopted or modified for their own use.

https://archive.ph/lKfIu

And it did show Dess’s page as the first result at the time of posting this.

Though, this doesn’t conclusively exonerate DDG, it’s still entirely possible that they really are intentionally ranking it down which is why it didn’t show up with a more general search term, or maybe it truly is just a bad relevancy-finding algorithm, but I guess it does prove that at least they haven’t removed it entirely. 🤷

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It’s the first result if you use double quotes instead of singles, i.e. "".

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Yeah, DDG search results have left me disappointed in the recent months. Have you tried Searx?

Edit: Why do I have this stupid habit of diagonally reading posts…

SearX is a metasearch engine that aggregates results from multiple search engines.

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I know. It was more of a recommendation as a daily search engine.

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Thanks for doing this work! I just tested it now, and same results: ddg doesn’t show my page while google does.

My only guess is that ddg is completely removing pages that have links to sites they have on political blocklist.

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See other comments though; It’s looking more likely that it’s just bugs in the parsing mixed with an undocumented not operator.

Still a chance it’s bugs in the (hypothetical) downranking mixed with bugs in the parsing, but nothing conclusively demonstrates that yet.

“Why not signal essay” shows it as the first result.

I’m glad the tinfoil hat essays don’t pop up.

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Internet. Sanitised for your protection. ™

That’s how the Internet works in self-claimed communist countries.

the article needs update as part of the software of Signal’s servers became closed-source in December 2021 and the founder stepped down as CEO of the company he built in January 2022…

Nothing that was already on the server code became closed-source. They simply added closed-source bits on top of the existing codebase, for spam prevention. Signal works perfectly fine without that code, it’s just that they can’t publish the code without revealing their spam prevention techniques and thus allowing spammers to easily bypass them.

What part of that article is tinfoil hat?

Something between the lines of Signal being an evil tool from the CIA to overthrow “communist” regimes around the world, because it’s funded by the OTF. It’s all conspiracy theories.

When you dont have any arguments, just call it conspiracy theory. No one can disagree with that!

Do conspiracy theorists have real arguments other than FUD and delusion?

Catering to their right wing user base, maybe?

No. Put off your tinfoil hat, you’re safe.

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