Results seem politically skewed

I did a search with both Brave Search and Duck Duck Go for “peter santilli”. Peter Santilli is a conservative commentator. The top Brave results are for a dated archive of his podcasts, obscure and very old obituaries for a different person, and politically left leaning articles. The Duck Duck Go top results are for Peter Santilli the commentator’s website and to right leaning websites containing his content. Brave seems to being skewing results to hide his content and to show him in a negative light. I thought Brave Search was supposed to be neutral.

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I confirm. I’m not from USA but this issue would become a big problem if true… Screens from Presearch, DDG and Brave. Using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.



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You’ll notice when you’re in your search results, they have a Feedback portion you can click on and then provide feedback. On top of that, you’ll also notice it says Beta. That’s because it’s still in development and is essentially still in Beta. You contributing and providing feedback is vital to getting it to present the types of results you like or think should be shown.


You can also learn a bit more about how it works at https://brave.com/search-and-web-discovery/

The system contributes anonymous search and browsing data made within the Brave browser from users who have opted in. This data helps build the Brave Search independent index, and ensures Brave Search shows results relevant to search queries. For a URL to be sent, it needs to be visited independently by a large number of people; this is achieved by using the novel STAR cryptographic protocol.

So this means that people using Brave Search are influencing the results. Also, you may like https://github.com/brave/web-discovery-project/blob/main/modules/web-discovery-project/sources/README.md

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Thanks. I was wondering if it was just me.

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Thanks for the response and info. I did see the “beta” but it still didn’t register that it’s a beta version. My faith in humanity has been restored! I did not see the feedback button. I’ll use it.

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Well, that’s a relief. thank you for the fast feedback.

I did the same on my Android app. I believe that Brave search has been compromised with spies who do not want Americans to have access to information. If I were them, I would figure out who is giving the terrible lib-leaning results and kick them out. Lets not pretend China and other big name nations have power plays in Big Tech.

I have been giving feedback for two years. When I first downloaded, the app had excellent results. Then a bunch of libs got control and its been bad ever since.

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Brave search has not been around anywhere near two years. They just bought the company and technology for the search engine in 2021. You may have been using Brave for a while but what search engine and what results you got it would’ve been something else entirely. I don’t know if you were using Google, DuckDuckGo, or something else. But for you to comment now and try to say that it was a Brave is absolutely wrong.

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However long the search has been around I’ve been using it. It feels like two years. The amount of time is irrelevant imho. As far as the quality of search then vs now, it absolutely has gone down…the results became more liberal.

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When I first started the search, I felt like a whole new world of information was again open to the regular US citizen. Liberals figured out a way to immediately CLAMP down on the search results of brave search really fast. Gotta admit that when it comes to the Culture War between Communist leanings and freedom fighters, they got the power in the tech realm.

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First, you blame it on the Brave users (aka “you guys, not them!”) Don’t you find it really REALLY bad that the search engine gives old, defunct, and even off-topic results for political content? If it’s by design, then the system needs to change as it’s obviously not working as an unbiased and neutral search engine… You don’t seem to upset about it though… major red flag that you actually support this garbage.
Deflecting feedback by telling people to go away and use a “feedback” option is also a major red flag. They are literally telling Brave and Brave users the exact problem and why it is bad, with specific evidence, and you essentially tell them to not talk about it on a public forum but do it silently (so people don’t notice?).

Now you take someone making a legitimate argument about how this appears to be done by design and handwave it all away because he said “two years” and Brave search wasn’t around that long. You ignored everything he has said based off that alone, and you pretend like he must be wrong about everything. He’s probably been using Brave search from the day it began like all of us since it was advertised within the browser.

I made this account just to tell you that you are a disingenuous person.
Brave lost a lot of trust with me from this. The whole point of this browser and search engine is neutrality and privacy so the user’s internet experience isn’t being altered to promote a controlled/constructed narrative above all else.

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@Cookie23 ,

Testing, I disabled the Brave Search “Google fallback mixing” switch, and then, the search response seemed to be more aligned with the search criteria that I used.

I much prefer that a search engine response is focused on the search criteria.

Another test, using search criteria: “freedom of speech”

Brave Search result is poor.

Extremely heavy bias toward Wikipedia

Unless I select a Brave Search category (Images / News / Videos), those Brave Search panels should not appear, but they all appear and soon after the big Wikipedia expose.

The Startpage Search engine result is relatively superior, re the search criteria.

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Thank you so much! Said better than I could have.

I’ve noticed that too however. When search first came out the results were great, pretty neutral. Now whenever I search any politically charged term (“incel”, “alex jones”, etc.) I get very left-leaning results, vox articles, CNN, the SPLC. It’s been getting considerably more biased over time.

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What are you referencing on that?

This hasn’t been my experience. There was also a post earlier where someone claimed that the search engine only gave positive results on id.me but when I did the search, it showed a mix of things including a lot talking about how the IRS is no longer demanding it and how there was a lot of backlash on it.

The people who work on programming and development don’t always use the forum. It’s pointless if you complain to the wrong people about things. This is why I mentioned the proper place to give feedback so that those who have control over it are able to keep an eye out and make changes.

It’s also important to read what has been said, that search results are built through tracking of browsers. It’s all anonymous but it does look to see what is searched and what people click on. While there’s other things going on behind the scenes that I’m not even going to pretend to understand, I do know they said this data is something that is helping to build it.

I took someone who said they had started using it 2 years ago and that it is only recent that things began to change. Yet if it’s brand new and not even around for a year, that diminishes what he said. For example, how recent is recent? If you go back to his history they joined the forum November 2021 and posted about it at Brave Search and the problem of censorship & irrelevant results for AVERAGE LAYMAN USER

Brave Search (Beta) was released at the end of June 2021. So yes, that gives July, August, September, and October for them to have used it. As data was being collected and more things added to the search engine, I’m sure types of results would change. Nobody is taking from that. But it’s very important to realize that ~5-6 months is nowhere near 2 years. If you lie or exaggerate on that, then what else are you going to lie or exaggerate on? It makes it difficult to take seriously.

I’m no expert on it and not going to pretend. What I will say is if you’re using terminology which is more commonly used by particular groups, wouldn’t it make sense it will only pull up things by those groups? Like if I used derogatory search terms for a particular sexuality or skin color, do you think it would be positive things that show up or would it more likely be the hate groups using those terms? I mean, it’s like you’re saying you search for “hate” and then get mad that it doesn’t talk about “love.”

Correct, your opinion and experiences on search results and all aren’t going to be diminished based on the amount of time. All that matters is the experience you have had.

Where it did become important though is when you used it as a basis for your judgment, as it diminishes everything else you say. I mean, if you’re wrong on that then it makes people question what else you’re wrong about. That’s all. So that one comment is what had some issue, at least with me.

That’s possible. I use Brave Search every once in a while but it’s not been good in my opinion, as it took a lot more effort for me to find things I need. The only thing that I do know is that we’ve been told about the feedback option, it’s been shared they are anonymously watching what we’re searching and interacting, etc and they are building their search engine from that. So when I see people mention issues with results, it’s important to let people know the best way to reach out and provide feedback to try to make those changes.

I try not to get into politics much. There’s a lot of love and hate for both liberals and conservatives. I’m somewhere in the middle, which is where I think the truth exists. Unfortunately a lot of people are on the extremes and show extreme hatred and a complete lack of empathy/compassion for each other. You are right that right now, there’s been a lot of movements on impeding freedom around the world. I haven’t seen much of an issue with that in regards to Brave beyond just how they have to play the political game. Not because they want to but they have to walk the line as cautiously as they can so they don’t have government step in to fine them or shut them down.

I get some people don’t like that, but how can they help us with privacy and freedom of information if they become enemies of the government and are shutdown by them? So they at least provide an illusion they cooperate, such as how they did when sanctions demanded no more RT made available. Brave removed RT but then they created a backdoor option to allow Users to put it back on feeds.

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Seriously though, where are you coming up with this? I just was looking at everything I said…there’s nothing there. All I did was point out how you can provide feedback and how it’s critical we provide feedback to them so they can continue to correct things and make it better.

Then I provided a link as well that showed how the programming and all works, in regards to how Brave is building their search engine. Not sure if you cared to actually click that link and read it. One of the key things is as it says at the end:

Web Discovery Project is not a closed system, it is constantly evolving to offer the maximum privacy guarantees to the users whose data is collected.

We do firmly believe that this methodology is a major step forward from the typical server-side aggregation used by the industry which leaves the user only the promise of privacy (the trust model). With the Web Discovery Project approach, we mitigate the risk of gathering information that we would rather not have. The risks for privacy leaks are close to zero, although there is no formal proof of privacy. We would never be able to know things like the list of queries a particular person has done in the last year. Not because our policy on security and privacy prevents us from doing so. But because it cannot be done, it is not technically possible even if we were forced to do so. In our opinion, the Web Discovery Project is a major shift in the way data is collected.

Also, as @289wk mentioned, you can modify where it’s pulling fallback information. On top of that, not sure if you’ve been referencing Search Results independence. For example, I just did a search for “Politics” and it came back as you see below.

New Tab - Brave 3_20_2022 4_23_18 PM

88% of the results on that came from Brave, while 12% from other sources. This changes with every search interaction. It also is important to realize this means Brave Search isn’t complete and has a LONG way to go before it breaks off on its own. But it is getting better and more accurate.

Sorry to see that. Because that is a popularity contest - trendy and biased toward social media chatter. Searching by using a bias toward what other people are searching.

A crawler is a machine that collects info and pours that info into a library.

A search engine should use the search criteria that is entered, in order to match

  • phrases
  • terms
  • keywords

. . . in the library.

Ranking the results according to the strength of the occurences, followed by the strength of the probabilities of “close to” a phrase, term, keyword.

If a searcher wants to see a bias, then switches need to be available so that – if a switch is specifically Enabled, there is emphasis in the results, toward that choice:

  • news
  • trend (what others are searching for)
  • other categories

Otherwise, please, no clusters of jammed up Wikipedia, news, images, videos.

Honor the written search criteria.

I should add, that during the crawling, the crawler can identify where in the portions of web pages and other data, the source/website has a list of terms intended to increase the probability of the web page gaining a position in search results – and some of such embedded terms themselves, do not honor the content nor theme of the web page.

A search engine should focus on the visitor-readable content of the webpage, instead of being misled by dozens of hidden terms that are bait.

Make your own search engine - web page has some info to consider:

One piece of info at the following link:

https://www.cs.toronto.edu/~muuo/blog/build-yourself-a-mini-search-engine/

re “the quality of our search results.” (That I do not consider to be “quality.”):

“Commercial search-engines such as Google do this by reranking their search results using a number of heuristics. Their original algorithm, page-rank, used statistics about a page’s incoming and outgoing links to determine its ‘popularity’ in the network.”

No thanks: Google would list at or near the top of its results, links of webpages that were themselves linked to the actual webpages that were the better result by matching search criteria.

I much prefer a search result that pays attention to search criteria.

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@289wk but it’s how I’m understanding what they shared. Such as in the article:

Since Brave Search is a search engine we need to know for which queries our results are not good enough. A very legitimate use-case, let’s call it bad-queries . How do we achieve this?

It is easy to do if the users help us with their data. Simply observe the event in which a user does a query q in Brave and then, within one hour, does the same query on a different search engine. That would be a good signal that Brave’s results for query q need to be improved. There are several approaches to collect the data needed for quality assessment. We want to show you why the industry standard approach has privacy risks.

If you can read it all at link below, maybe you can tell me how you’re reading it and if I’m at all wrong in what I’m saying. But if right, then it shows you how they are building their database.

@Saoiray ,

You are OK.

The Brave Web Discovery Project is ambitious. If I have their info (tx) right, a study of:

How a search engine user can be identified and tracked, via (the user’s history:) search records that are linked to the user.

Brave is trying to figure out how to thwart the linking between users and the records of their searches. So, searchers using Brave Search, will remain anonymous.

And, Brave is studying “Anonymous usage metrics” of users of Brave Search (if the users allow the specific Brave Search switch setting), in order to learn more re the project.

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