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It’s disappointing that DDG isn’t supporting an open infrastructure, but when you think about it their offering is in fact a closed infrastructure similar in principle to Apple’s. It is a closed product, but which promises to protect your privacy. That has value when choosing to use a service in the short term, but it’s not something to build on or to rely on in the long term, after all both companies could make any pivot they want if their incentives change in future. A better model would be contributing to a search engine which is open source, that cannot pivot without being forked.

Agreed, even though it's extremely unlikely companies like Apple or DuckDuckGo will pivot.

Another big argument for supporting free software solutions is to do it for the people who want/need freedom (like whistleblowers or activists).

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