While initially it seemed that the company deindexed a number of domains used for illegally downloading movies, TV shows and even YouTube videos, it turns out that technical issues led to the glitch instead.
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First launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine that aims to better cater to the needs of privacy-conscious internet users that don’t want their search data ending up in the hands of Google or other large tech giants. The company has since expanded its operations and it now offers its own browser in addition to a search engine.
This isn’t the first time that DuckDuckGo has dealt with the issue of pirating as back in 2018, the company removed around 2,000 search shortcuts for pirate sites called “bangs” for The Pirate Bay, 1337x and RARBG. Although these bangs were removed, DuckDuckGo stressed that the sites themselves still showed up in its search results.
Not a DuckDuckGo issue
After TorrentFreak published its initial report on the matter, a DuckDuckGo spokesperson reached out to the news outlet to inform them that no pirate domains were removed from its search engine according to the company’s records.
This appears to be true as you can now search for The Pirate Bay, 1337x, RARBG and other popular torrenting sites and they show up in DuckDuckGo’s search results.
“We are not "purging" YouTube-dl or The Pirate Bay and they both have actually been continuously available in our results if you search for them by name (which most people do). Our site: operator (which hardly anyone uses) is having issues which we are looking into.”
While DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine, it actually uses data from Bing for its search results. A DuckDuckGo spokesperson confirmed to TorrentFreak that the issues its search engine recently experienced were related to Bing data.
Although you can now once again search for popular torrenting sites on DuckDuckGo, downloading movies, TV shows, games and other software isn’t just illegal but you also run the risk of having your system infected with malware and other viruses.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.