Are DuckDuckGo's Bing ties a problem for Linux Mint?

Mint's new default search engine shows an anti-open source bias, some have charged.

By Katherine Noyes, PC World |  Software, Linux, linux mint

Following its official debut over the weekend, Linux Mint 12 has received a great deal of praise and attention, including my own enumeration of many of its compelling new features.

The DuckDuckGo search engine is one of those new features thanks to a partnership between the projects whereby DuckDuckGo and Mint share the revenue generated by sponsored links within the search results seen by Linux Mint users.

DuckDuckGo offers a number of advantages for privacy-focused users, as I noted yesterday; it's also built in part on open source software, and it contributes to the open source community.

In the past few days, however, there have been a few suggestions made that the search engine filters out free and open source software such as Linux and LibreOffice, largely because it draws in part from results from Microsoft Bing.

'You Will Never Reach LibreOffice'

"If you search DuckDuckGo for open source office suite, you will not find LibreOffice on top," charges a Saturday article on Muktware, for example. Instead, "it's buried at the bottom," much the way it is on Microsoft Bing, the article points out.

In an identical search on Google, however, LibreOffice is the second result, Muktware asserts.

Search on the term "office suite," meanwhile, and "you will never reach to LibreOffice," the article adds, noting that it finds a similar trend in searches for other types of software.

"The results of DuckDuckGo resembles the results of Microsoft Bing which allegedly filters open source projects," Muktware concludes.

Commenters on that article disputed its conclusion, but a similar assertion was made--and disputed--in the comments on my own story yesterday.

More than 50 Sources

It is true that DuckDuckGo bases its results in part on those from Bing, according to an explanation on its support center. DuckDuckGo actually draws its results from more than 50 sources, it says, including also Yahoo, BOSS, embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Blekko, and its own crawler.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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