Congrats to DuckDuckGo on reaching 100 million daily search queries! 🎉

It's amazing to see a privacy-first Google alternative making such great progress! I personally contribute with a few searches every day 😀

@markosaric I expect it to keep picking up. No one is liking the behavior of these big tech monopolies. They don't deserve your data and the ability to monetize it further.

@markosaric Duck is also fooling people into clicking their paid how is that different from google?

@tio very different in terms of how ads on google and on ddg work.

@markosaric Like how? Is ddg transparent with what they are doing? Can I trust that they are not tracking people?

@tio they are transparent. they don't do any tracking for advertising purposes not on their search results and not on other websites around the web. their ads are contextual and this is the right way to do it. It's expensive to run a search engine and they cannot simply not do any monetization whatsoever. That's very unrealistic

@markosaric They fool people if 70% of the screen for a search is represented by ads:

They also read your IP and more, this is why they targeted my searches based on my VPN that's set to Austria.

Don't forget, they are a company after all. I've heard this pitch-line from companies: "we don't track, we don't manipulate, we don't do this or that" to later on be uncovered that they do. So I simply do not trust them. They have a huge incentive to track and target ads, because they make a ton of money out of it.

Lastly,, wikipedia, mojeek (search engine), and so many online projects with millions or billions of users, can be sustainable based on donations. So it is possible...

@tio every request you make in a browser sends your IP address and user agent to the site you made a request to so that's not unusual. The main thing is what does the site do with the data and from my knowledge DDG doesn't do anything dodgy.

I'm part of an open source project and a fairly popular one and I can guarantee you that making it work with donations from users so you can work on it full time is pretty much impossible. 99% need corporations/governments to fund them

@markosaric Your IP being sent to any server is one thing, but to use that IP to target ads to you, is another. ddg is doing that...

And as I said above, there are many examples of donation-based projects that simply work. What if ddg would make a fundaraiser and if they raise the funds, they would remove the ads? Could they even try that? Maybe that's a what to test and see if it works.
@markosaric I think you can find more examples of big projects that are based on donations and are honest, than big projects that are based on profit (are companies) and are honest.

@tio that's contextual advertising. the country you are in, the search query you searched for. they don't create any profiles on you or do any type of cross site tracking

that some people demand ethical software to be free of charge and donation based is probably the main reason why there are so few success stories for mainstream users. ethical projects need better business models to get more people to work on them and to build better projects that can compete with proprietary ones


that's contextual advertising. the country you are in, the search query you searched for. they don't create any profiles on you or do any type of cross site tracking

Marko, they target ads based on my location and my search query...that is targeted advertising. Sure, they do not go as far as creating a profile about me to improve this targeting like google does, and we have to trust that they tell us the truth, but they still target ads to you.

"ethical projects need better business models" but the paradox is that "business" is what makes people unethical. I don't trust at all that any business can be ethical. An ethical business, sounds like watery fire to me. Endless examples of these businesses going "unethical".

@tio not sure what to tell you, in the industry what they are doing is the definition of contextual advertising and not personalised advertising that google and facebook are doing.

unfortunately to build a service and maintain it you need people and resources and people need to eat and pay bills. donations are simply not enough for make that work

@markosaric I personally feel no privacy using ddg when I know they will read my IP and my search queries and show me ads based on that. They know the language I speak, the place I live, the stuff I search for, and probably a lot more like the browser, device, operating system.

I would recommend SearX that strips away all of these invasive practices. or Mojeek.

Big projects work based on donations. KDE, Debian, Framasoft, Krita,, Wikipedia, many Linux distros, and so forth…

It is true people have to be able to survive in this unfair trade-system, but going the business way it is a very slippery slope to climb, and I simply don't see any good such examples. Can you give me some examples, of big projects, and years-old, that are "ethical"?

@tio that's why it's good you have a choice that you prefer but i don't agree that DDG is doing something bad, unethical or dodgy. donations are supposed to be the way to go but it is a system that has failed the mainstream. this is why majority of people have never heard or used the successful projects you have listed and why they use google, facebook, windows etc. so now there's a new wave of ethical companies trying to do it differently and DDG is certainly one of the biggest ones

@markosaric I was a huge fan of ddg, but the more I learned about them and other options, the more I realized ddg is on the same track as google in terms of fooling people to click links that they want you to click (ads), and identifying you to target ads to you. Maybe they are really honest and except those, they do good stuff. But I simply cannot trust a search engine company that makes money out of displaying ads into the search results. It is too much of a slippery slope there....

I am also unsure that people don't use wikipedia,, the fediverse, just because there isn't a company behind those...I mean there are so many small companies that do what google, fb, twitter, and the like do, but no one heard of them, simply because these giants like fb, google and the like, are way too big.
@markosaric @tio other than, do you know of any contextual non-tracking ad networks which deal with smaller sites?

@david @tio i'm not aware of any unfortunately. these are the type of projects that are really needed for sites to give them an option to monetize outside google/surveillance capitalism but i'm not aware of any

Generally speaking #sustainable = #SOLE. Small, organic, local, ethical.

#Ethical also means #FairTrade. To us if you search for something and you get a few ads based on that search then thats #askAndReceive type stuff, which is not a big issue.

Check out #ShopEthical for info on many businesses (available in #Australia. Your country might have something similar).

Don't want #locationTracking? Use #TorBrowser.

Don't want to…(1/2)

@markosaric @tio
(2/2) Don't want to give search history to just one big entity, and rely on one #searchEngine? Use a #searx instance to #search which will aggregate #searchResults from different #searchEngines.

Using a Searx provider further helps to conceal your identity from the big search engines, because you a searching via a proxy.

@markosaric @tio This issue was recently debated in this Stackoverflow blog post:

Aknowledging that open source does have a funding problem should the the starting point. Looking at the total donations that all bar a tiny tiny number of projects receive on the likes of opencollective or liberapay should make this instantly clear.

I am a strong proponent of massive public funding.

@g @tio exactly! i wasn't aware of how big of an issue this is when i was only a user of foss products, but since i became a maintainer i can tell you lack of funding is the number 1 reason why there are no more success stories and why the mainstream uses unethical products that take advantage of them. can be public funding, people paying for products they use/love... anything but "free" as in free of charge or donations are the only accepted funding method will improve the situation

@markosaric For all search queries except those highly technical, DuckDuckGo has been my primary search engine for at least the last two years. Even for technical queries, although they're not as good as Google yet, they seem to be improving, even if at a snail's pace.

@markosaric I wonder how many of those are preceded with “!g” 😔

@kev @markosaric I surprisingly don’t use the !g very often. I actually try to forget it exists. I always find what I’m looking for oddly enough

@geekgonecrazy @kev i use !sp (startpage) instead for some technical searches. google results without google being directly involved

@markosaric @geekgonecrazy @kev I use Searx on my own Yunohost server. It is installed with a click of a mouse. Used by me and my wife.

@kev @geekgonecrazy even !s works the same way if you want to save a key press

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