@piokozi I wonder if it’s as innocent as the algorithm doesn’t correlate “tank man” to “Tiananem Square”. The results in tje image search relate to news articles about this thing.
If Bing or DDG didn’t show results for “Tiananmen Square” then that would be different, I think.
“Tiananmen Square tank man” is full of relevant results (attached). I think people are looking way too much into this. It’s just an issue with the algorithm IMO.
@kev @piokozi But even if DuckDuckGo’s algorithm was just confused when encountering “tank man” (before it was “fixed”), it still has the potential of shaping people’s thinking. If someone overhears “tank man” casually and searches for it in DDG, they would’ve taken away a dramatically different message than if they searched somewhere else. So if DDG’s algorithm is random and confused, it’ll just shape our thoughts in a random and confusing manner. I can’t decide whether that’s better than the creators of DDG having and ulterior motive.
I guess we have to treat answers from a search engine in the same way as answers from an expert: capable of both having an ulterior motive and just spewing utter bollocks, necessitating a second opinion in any case. But the usual mental model is something much more mechanical (‘give me the documents/images that contain these keywords’).
@kev @kristof it appears that Bing is not currently blocked in China. I would imagine that censoring "tank man" would have been to comply with China's own censorship. Perhaps the censorship was only intended to regional, but applied to the rest of the world by some mistake: Microsoft has recently claimed that the censorship was due to "human error".
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