The Unclear Impact

This is worrying...

TL;DR: go compare the image results for "tank man" in / , with those in / .

@piokozi umm…

I should additionally mention that "tank man" relates to the Tiananmen Square massacre, so the topic is quite heavy, before you search it.

@kev *definitely* wasn't the case yesterday, checked that myself. Glad it's been dealt with though.

@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 perhaps, but personally I have my doubts. Especially since this was on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
After you bring it up, I can't discount that Bing's algorithm simply doesn't recognise it. However, given how iconic the "tank man" image is, I find it a bit harder to believe.

Re: algorithm

@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’).


Re: algorithm

@kristof agree with all of the above, but incompetence doesn’t equate to censorship, which is what the OP called this.


Re: algorithm

@kev @kristof as the above is relating to DDG, and I believe my own meaning was not clear (for which I apologise), I should clarify. I do not expect that it is DDG who is doing any censorship. Rather, I believe that Bing is (was) likely to be. To my knowledge, DDG uses Bing for its searches, so if Bing were to censor results, DDG might be affected by that too.

Re: algorithm

@piokozi why would Bing, or anyone else, censor Tiananmen Square? It makes no sense.


Re: algorithm

@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".