Alternative Information Directory
Coronavirus information & resources
Vaccines - What You Need To Know

"Fake News" sources worth watching

See the 'recent changes' section at the bottom of the page for the most recent updates to this document.

Video: BUSTED! Media Crimes Exposed

Note that sources listed here are constantly being added and removed.

Having learned long ago that the (legacy) mainstream "news" media cannot be trusted, i turned to the web and the alternative news realm to find out what's really going on in the world. Over the course of a dozen years or more, i have evaluated and curated many alternative news sources which i found to be generally reputable.

Though i believe the following list is comprised of generally trustworthy sources, keep in mind that all of them get things wrong on occasion, sometimes very wrong. For example many organizations have contributing writers and journalists and while the majority of them may be produce creditable work, others sometimes produce complete garbage. Ultimately it is up to you to research what you read and decide for yourself what is accurate.

Regarding YouTube, i would highly suggest subscribing to the authors feed(s) on alternative video platforms if any are available. Because of the ongoing censorship, purging, de-ranking and de-listing at sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., more and more people are migrating to platforms which are more respective of free speech including as BitChute, Rumble, Odysee, Gab TV, Brighteon, DTube and others where their work is less likely to be censored. Even if they have a YouTube channel, they may not post all of their content there due to the risk of having their channel deleted and their account terminated.

The systemic problem of censorship also applies to all mainstream social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and others. For alternatives to the 'Big Tech' platforms, see: Social media - Tracking, profiling, censorship and privacy respecting alternatives.

news and information

21st Century Wire

21st Century Wire is a "North American and Europe-based, grass-roots, independent hyper-blog offering bold commentary, news, views, analysis, as well as thought-provoking curated content from around the web."

After Skool

After Skool produces entertaining and informative videos covering a wide variety of topics. Their tagline is "Don't let school get in the way of your education.".

Amazing Polly

Amazing Polly is a website run by Polly St. George, an excellent, in-depth researcher who covers a variety of subjects on a timely basis. In addition to her website, Polly posts the results of her work in video format.

ANC Report

Anti-Neocon Report is run by Ryan Dawson who holds a vast amount of knowledge on wide array of historical and geopolitical topics, as well as current events, particularly with regard to Israel, Zionism and the plight of the Palestinians. Ryan is an excellent researcher, activist, commentator and producer of many hard-hitting documentary videos.

Anti-Media

Anti-Media offers a fresh insight to all things political, as well as many other interesting topics.

Antiwar.com

Antiwar.com publishes a great deal of information which is critical of U.S. foreign policy.

Asia Pacific Today

Asia Pacific Today "does not follow the narrative. We simply focus on the truth in Politics, Government, Covid, Climate Change, Mainstream Media and the demise of Free Speech and Liberty through out the US and the Asia Pacific region.".

Ben Swann - Truth in Media, Isegoria

Ben Swann is a long-time investigative journalist and former producer of 'Reality Check' on FOX 19. Ben is well known for his Reality Check segment on 'Pizzagate' which involves child sex trafficking among the worlds "elite". The only problem with Ben is that there aren't 10,000 more of him.

BestEvidence

BestEvidence by John Titus "seeks to chronicle major financial forces and legal changes behind America's last days as a sovereign republic, as the rule of law is destroyed and the American people are disenfranchised and looted in broad daylight."

Felix Rex/Black Pigeon Speaks

Felix Rex (a.k.a. Black Pigeon Speaks) offers interesting, intelligent and original insights and interviews regarding current events.

Blackstone Intelligence Network

Blackstone Intelligence Network, run by Jake Morphonios, is another exceptional source of news and commentary regarding Israel, Zionism, the middle east, financial crimes, human trafficking, recent events and more. Jake has worked for the Ron Paul campaign, as well as campaigns for other candidates, and apparently has a substantial network of insider sources.

Bombard's Body Language

Bombard's Body Language is quite an interesting resource run by Mandy Bombard, a woman who seems to be very talented at reading body language, though it is not clear if she's had any formal training. Mandy typically analyzes people in the political sphere but covers others as well.

Collective Evolution

Collective Evolution is not always a great source for political or historical topics, however they publish many uplifting stories from interesting perspectives that are worth a read, particularly about natural healthcare and the world we live in.

Computing Forever

Dave Cullen of Computing Forever offers intelligent and unique perspectives and insights in video format regarding a variety of subjects including current trends and events.

Cory's Digs

Cory's Digs "was created by Investigative Journalist Corey Lynn for the purpose of digging for truth in a world where nothing is as it seems, then connecting the dots and presenting her findings to you. Corey focuses on larger webs and nests, and areas that are seldom covered by mainstream media. She exposes operations, oftentimes with detailed timelines, maps, and documentation to provide the full scope of what may be transpiring, and she always cites sources with links to back it up."

Courage Foundation

The Courage Foundation is "an international organization that supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record. We fundraise for the legal and public defense of specific individuals who fit these criteria and are subject to serious prosecution or persecution. We also campaign for the protection of truthtellers and the public’s right to know generally."

Earth Newspaper

The Earth Newspaper, run by Mark R. Elsis, is a decent general news website and prolific publisher of news stories, videos and more.

Emergency and Disaster Information Service

The Emergency and Disaster Information Service monitors and documents disaster or emergency events around the world.

Free West Media

Free West Media offers "unbiased daily coverage of European and world wide news from a western perspective".

Global Research

Global Research out of Canada is a decent source for general and international news with a focus on globalism.

Great Game India

Great Game India is a "journal of geopolitics and international relations" that posts a great deal of interesting content on a variety of subjects.

Helen of desTroy

Helen of desTroy, run by Helen Buyniski, publishes articles and insightful commentary on a variety of topics including the police state, foreign policy, surveillance, propaganda, and immigration and much more. Helen is an accomplished researcher whose content has appeared on RT.

In Gaza

In Gaza by Eva Bartlett is an excellent source for middle east news, particularly with regard to Palestine and Syria. Eva is an award winning independent journalist who has a strong focus on human rights.

In This Together

In This Together by Iain Davis publishes alternative viewpoints and potential solutions that span a variety of topics from politics to health.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is comprised of approximately 250 contributing investigative reporters in 90 countries.

James Bovard

James Bovard "is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (St. Martin’s/Palgrave, 2006), and 8 other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and other publications. He is a contributing editor of The American Conservative, a frequent contributor to The Hill, and a regular contributor to the Future of Freedom magazine." James' writings focus primarily on government.

JFK Facts

JFK Facts is a great resource for in-depth information, both old and new, regarding the November 22nd, 1963 assassination of then president John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The website is run by Jefferson Morley who is a former reporter for the Washington Post.

Jon Rappoport

Jon Rappoport, a 30 year free-lance investigative reporter, has written about politics, health, media, culture and art for LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, Village Voice, Nexus, CBS Healthwatch, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.

Kristi Leigh TV / KLIM News

Kristi is an independent journalist covering a variety of subjects and current activities.

Mises Institute

The Mises Institute "exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian school of economics, and individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard.".

Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss, founded in 2006 by journalist Philip Weiss, is "an independent website devoted to informing readers about developments in Israel/Palestine and related US foreign policy. We provide news and analysis unavailable through the mainstream media regarding the struggle for Palestinian human rights.".

National Justice

National Justice is "a publication dedicated to shattering the narratives of the controlled left and right in post-truth America. Our mission is to utilize journalism and commentary to start debates in the public interest. We tell stories, provide analysis, and report news maliciously omitted by the vast majority of information sources.".

Nations In Action

Nations In Action, which covers a variety of subject matter, "stands for truth and transparency in government and we are determined to not only expose the truth, but end this ungodly reign over our lives and restore power to the people of every nation."

Need To Know

Need To Know, founded by G. Edward Griffin, author of the book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, covers a variety of topics from health and freedom to technocracy and money. "The goal of Need to Know is to provide unfiltered news and commentary as an antidote to Newspeak.".

Off Guardian

Off Guardian's founders are people who "had all been censored on and/or banned from the Guardian's 'Comment is Free' sections". The website covers a variety of topics and is "dedicated to open discourse and free expression, and will often host articles on both sides of any particular issue.".

Project Veritas

Project Veritas, founded by James O'Keefe, uses traditional undercover investigative journalism to record and effectively expose crime and corruption in the government and private sectors. Their work is extremely good and well worth following.

Public Intelligence

Public Intelligence is "an international, collaborative research project aimed at aggregating the collective work of independent researchers around the globe who wish to defend the public’s right to access information". The site publishes the results of a lot of FOIA requests, some very interesting.

Really Graceful

Really Graceful is run by a very likable young lady who researches various interesting topics of importance which she covers in short and entertaining videos. Many of her videos are about occult subjects and recent events. She is know for beginning her videos with the slogan, "Hey internet friends".

Red Ice TV, Radio 3Fourteen

Red Ice TV, hosted by Henrik Palmgren with wife Lana Lokteff, focuses on politics and social issues from a pro-European perspective. Topics include Zionism, Critical Race Theory, the demonetization of white culture and more.

Redress Information & Analysis

Redress Information & Analysis is "an independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry, and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs.".

Ron Paul Liberty Report

The Ron Paul Liberty Report, featuring long-time congressman, strict constitutionalist and former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul, focuses on U.S. government, foreign policy, finance and other issues that affect our everyday lives.

Signs of the Times

SOTT delivers national and international news and commentary. SOTT makes available more than two dozen specialized news feeds.

Sirius Disclosure

Sirius Disclosure by Dr. Steven Greer, is an umbrella organization housing several projects related to the extraterrestrial presence and alternative energy. Dr. Greer also founded The Disclosure Project and The Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI), The Orion Project and Sirius Technology Advanced Research.

SyrianGirl Partisan

SyrianGirl Partisan, real name Maram Susli, is an excellent resource for news and commentary regarding middle east affairs, especially with regard to Syria and U.S. and Israeli foreign policy.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is "an independent, not-for-profit organization that holds power to account. Founded in 2010 by David and Elaine Potter, we tackle big subjects through deep reporting that uncovers the truth. We tell the stories that matter.".

The Black Vault

The Black Vault is dedicated to exposing government secrets in the form of FOIA requests.

The Brother Nathanael Foundation

The Brother Nathanael Foundation, run by Nathanael Kapner, "envisions an America that is Christian in its consciousness and wholesome in its culture". While i am not religious in the least, the value that Kapner holds for me is his video commentary regarding what i would call the Jewish mafia (the criminal element of international Jewry). The eccentric Kapner is not at all shy about calling a spade a spade and exposing Jewish and Zionist crimes and the influence these criminals have in all of our major institutions and social structures.

The Conscious Resistance Network

The Conscious Resistance Network, founded by Derrick Broze, is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing.

The Corbett Report

The Corbett Report, run by James Corbett out of Japan, is one of my favorite sources of unique content and commentary. Along with James Evan Pilato of Media Monarchy, the two James' broadcast regular video podcasts including the weekly New World Next Week episodes in which they address the current top stories of the day, as well as the annual New World Next Year episodes in which they predict future trends and events. A solid, in-depth researcher, Corbett has produced several hard-hitting documentary and short films including 9/11: A Conspiracy Theory, a five minute parody video that does an excellent job of challenging the official government narrative regarding the 2001 terrorist attack upon the U.S., and his extraordinary two part documentary, How Big Oil Conquered The World and Why Big Oil Conquered The World. If you only want to follow a single source in the alternative news and information realm, The Corbett Report is it.

The Electronic Intifada

The Electronic Intifada is an independent online news publication focusing on Palestine.

The Exposé / Daily Exposé

The Exposé is "run by extremely ordinary, hardworking people who are sick and tired of the fear-mongering, lies and propaganda perpetuated by the mainstream media. We felt it was our duty to bring you the facts that the mainstream refuse to".

The New Agora

The New Agora covers a variety of topics with the goal of working to "help ourselves and others gain the traction and build the momentum to build abundant, happy, healthy and loving lives.".

Truthstream Media

Truthstream Media, run by Aaron and Melissa Dykes, is dedicated to waking up the masses through provocative short and feature documentary videos covering a wide variety of subjects, all of which are quite depressing but informative.

Waking Times

Waking Times, founded by Dylan Charles and Anna Hunt, is primarily dedicated to human enlightenment and evolution.

entertainment

Matthias Wandel

Matthias Wandel is an accomplished woodworker who makes instructional videos. Matthias has a comical side which can be seen in many of videos, such as his several 'how to build a better mouse trap' videos.

Samson Boat Co.

Samson Boat Co., run by the likable and hair comb deficient Leo Sampson Goolden, is about boat building. Though Leo is young, his knowledge of boat building is quite formidable and his videos are very interesting and entertaining.

This Old Tony

This Old Tony is an exceptional machinist with a quirky and fun sense of humor.

health

Children's Health Defense

Children's Health Defense, chaired by Robert Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and activist, is largely dedicated to exposing the risks regarding vaccines including the conflicts of interest and blatant criminality that exist within the mainstream media, the CDC and Big Pharma.

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

Health Impact News

Health Impact News publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

Health Nut News

Health Nut News publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

Hotze Health & Wellness Center

Hotze Health & Wellness Center publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

SSRI Stories

SSRI Stories publishes information regarding the connections between people who have committing violent acts, such as mass shootings, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.

The Alliance for of Natural Health

The Alliance for of Natural Health publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

The Highwire

The Highwire, run by Del Bigtree, is part of the Vaccine Risk Awareness Movement. Del was an Emmy winning producer of the CBS talk show, The Doctors, and producer of the documentary VAXXED, which is credited with igniting a revolution against Pharmaceutical Tyranny around the world.

The Vaccine Reaction

The Vaccine Reaction is an online subscription journal newspaper published by the National Vaccine Information Center. The organization is dedicated to exposing concerns regarding vaccines.

Well Org

Well Org publishes information regarding traditional and natural healthcare.

history

Ancient Origins

Ancient Origins covers news items regarding ancient history, largely of an archeological nature.

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

CODOH is dedicated to historical revisionism regarding the holocaust and Germany's role in World War II. CODOH has an extensive library of books and videos as well as a public forum.

lifestyle / social

Anarchast, Anarchapulco

Anarchast, headed by Jeff Berwick, is your home for "anarchy on the internet". Each year there is a massive gathering of anarchists in Mexico known as Anarchapulco. While many might associate anarchy with a free-for-all, everyone for them self philosophy, this is not the case. Most true anarchists are interested in freedom from government oppression, corporatocracy and endless war through sustainable, educated communities and voluntarism. In other words, a well functioning society absent government oversight. Please don't make the mistake of associate true anarchists with communistic groups such as the George Soros funded Antifa and Black Lives Matter terrorists who have given anarchy a particularly bad name.

Anarchapulco

Awakening Journey

Awakening Journey is dedicated to sharing the works of the late Terence McKenna and Alan Watts, both very original thinkers, writers and philosophers who used hallucinogens to gain a better understanding of consciousness. I find their work and insight absolutely fascinating.

Everything Voluntary

Everything Voluntary was "established in November 2011 by the editor, Skyler J. Collins. EVC is dedicated to promoting several philosophies consistent with the voluntary principle, that all human relations should happen voluntarily, or not at all. These philosophies cover politics, economics, education, and parenting."

Larken Rose

Larken Rose is "an anarchist author best known for challenging the IRS to answer questions about the federal tax liability of citizens, and being put in prison with no questions answered. He is the author of The Most Dangerous Superstition."

My Self Reliance

My Self Reliance is run by Shawn James, a guy who was around $750,000 in the hole before he decided to make some radical changes in his life. Shawn builds log structures such as cabins and is an avid outdoorsman with a genuine and easygoing personality. His beautiful dog Cali "helps" him wherever she can.

Open Source Ecology

Open Source Ecology, run by Marcin Jakubowsk, develops open source machines that can be made for a fraction of the cost of their commercial counterparts and shares these designs on the internet for free.

Primitive Technology

Primitive Technology is about a guy in Australia who builds all kinds of interesting structures and tools with his hands using nothing but natural resources.

The Venus Project

The Venus Project, founded by the late Jacque Fresco, envisions and promotes a radically different, technological and resource based economy and society where the focus is a sustainable future where human life, reaching our potential, and coexisting with our environment and each other are of the upmost importance. Their vision is neither communistic nor socialistic in nature and is radically different than those proposed by the United Nations (Agenda 2030 and such) and the World Economic Forum which are rooted in greed, control and utter evil.

The Zeitgeist Movement

The Zeitgeist Movement, founded by Peter Joseph, is an international movement that advocates for a transformation of society and our economic systems to a non-monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism. His vision is not dissimilar from that of The Zeitgeist Movement, which he was working with for a brief period before there was some sort of falling out.

Transition Network

The Transition Network is an international movement that describes itself as "a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world".

technology

9to5Linux

9to5Linux publishes "breaking Linux and Open Source news, opinions, tutorials, and reviews."

gHacks Technology News

gHacks Technology News publishes a lot of information regarding software technology and companies, though not all of it is great. The 'arkenfox' Firefox user.js preferences on GitHub were once posted here and it's a good website to watch regarding Firefox news.

Hackaday

Hackaday is an excellent resource for hardware and software hackers of all skill levels. The site posts a lot of interesting and entertaining content.

InfoSec Handbook

InfoSec Handbook posts content about information security.

Linux Today

LinuxToday is a "trusted, contributor-driven news resource supporting all types of Linux users."

unixsheikh

unixsheikh writes "articles (occasional rants) and tutorials about open source, BSD and GNU/Linux system administration, and programming - the pragmatic way."

Wrongthink

Wrongthink is a "free software extremist and independent security writer" who publishes interesting articles and opinions of a technical nature.

see also

recent changes

  • misc. edits/corrections
  • removed The Canadian Patriot
  • added Wrongthink
  • added more resources in the technology section
  • reformatted the list
  • removed a couple resources
  • added several resources

Alternative Search Engines That Respect Your Privacy

It's time to stop relying on corporations which do not respect our privacy. Here are some search engines that, unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo, have a stronger focus on protecting your privacy.

See the recent changes at the end.

Following are some search engines which are more privacy-centric than those offered by the privacy-hating mega-corporations like Google and Bing.

Unlike meta search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Startpage, etc., which rely either partially or entirely upon third parties for their results (primarily Bing and Google), all search engines listed here maintain their own indexes meaning they actively crawl the web in search of new and updated content to add to their catalogs. A few are hybrids, meaning they rely partially upon a 3rd party engine.

Although meta search engines are often referred to as alternative search engines, they are not true alternatives since they are subject to the same censorship/de-ranking practices of the company upon which they rely. Such search engine companies are really proxies in that they may provide a valuable service by insulating you from privacy intrusive third party services, however this is not always the case.

If you are going to use a meta search engine which relies upon a 3rd party, those which depend on Microsoft's Bing will generally return better results than those which rely on Google, especially when searching for sensitive and censored information.

If you have any indexing search engines you would like to suggest, leave a comment (you need not be logged in). To install search engine plugins for Firefox, see Firefox Search Engine Cautions, Recommendations.

Legend:

  • Decentralized: (yes/no) whether or not the service depends upon centralized servers or is distributed among its users, such as YaCy
  • Type: (index/hybrid) indexing search engines crawl the web and index content without relying on a 3rd party, whereas hybrid search engines are a combination of both meta and index
  • Requires JS / Cookies: (yes/no) whether the website requires JavaScript and/or cookies (web storage) in order to function
  • Self Contained: (yes/no) whether or not the website uses 3rd party resources, such as Google fonts, etc.
  • Client Required: (yes/no) whether or not you have to install client software in order to use the service
  • License: (proprietary/<license type>) whether the source code is available and, if so, the license type
  • Privacy Policy: a link to their privacy policy

Brave Search

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no hybrid JS: no 1
Cookies: no 2
yes no proprietary link

Brave Search is in the process of building its own index, however until that is complete it also pulls results from 3rd parties, though it is unclear what 3rd parties are queried.

The search interface is attractive and intuitive. Unfortunately there are few options for tailoring the search results or the interface, however some of the more important options are in place, including regional and date search options.

Gigablast

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: yes
Cookies: no
yes no Apache License 2.0 ?

Gigablast is a free and open source search engine that maintains its own index.

The search interface offers some useful options, such as selecting the format of the output, several interesting sorting options, time span options, file type options and plenty of advanced syntax options.

I couldn't find a privacy policy, but decided to include it anyway since it is open source.

You can install and run Gigablast on your own server.

Good Gopher

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no
no no proprietary link

Good Gopher was apparently developed by Mike Adams, editor of the NaturalNews.com website, and appears to be unmaintained.

As stated in the Good Gopher privacy policy, their search results are censored in that they filter out what they and their users consider to be "corporate propaganda and government disinfo", while simultaneously promoting the undisputed heavyweight king of alt-media propaganda and disinformation, Alex "Bullhorn" Jones of InfoWars.

The core of their privacy policy consists of a few vague paragraphs, the bulk of which has nothing to do with user privacy.

Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results, though they state they are very particular about who may advertise on the platform.

LookSeek

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no
no no proprietary link

LookSeek appears to be owned by Applied Theory Networks LLC and apparently has been around a while. The software seems to be propitiatory, but they do have a decent, clear and brief privacy policy.

The search interface is rudimentary, to say the least, and there doesn't appear to be any configuration options.

LookSeek states they have "no political or social bias".

Marginalia Search

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no
yes no GPL v3+ link

Marginalia Search is a very interesting, open source, niche search engine which describes itself as "an independent DIY search engine that focuses on non-commercial content, and attempts to show you sites you perhaps weren't aware of in favor of the sort of sites you probably already knew existed".

One very useful aspect of Marginalia Search is that it allows you to choose the search result ranking algorithm which compiles the search results in different ways, such as by focusing on blogs and personal websites, academic sites, popular sites, etc..

Another potentially unique feature of Marginalia Search is that the results include some information about the website, such as how well the site fits with your search terms, what markup language it is written in and whether it uses JavaScript and/or cookies. Additional information is also provided regarding the content and dependencies for a given site, including whether it employs tracking /analytics, whether it contains media such as video or audio, and whether it contains affiliate links, such as Amazon links.

Mojeek

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no 2
yes no proprietary link

Mojeek is a UK based company which operates it's own crawler and promises to return unbiased results. I think Mojeek is the most usable search engine listed here and future enhancements are in the works.

The search interface is clean and they offer several options to customize how searching works and how the interface looks. One can also configure how many search results per domain are returned and if more than that number are available, Mojeek adds a link under the results which will open a new page with those results when clicked. If you enter a domain as the search term, Mojeek offers the option to search within that domain.

Mojeek offers advanced search options which add some useful parameters to configure what results are returned.

The engine supports some search operators including site: and since: , the latter of which is similar to the date: operator used by Google.

Mojeek has a simple, clear and solid privacy policy. I emailed Mojeek with a few questions and received the following:

Q: Are your results provided entirely by your crawler, or are they supplemented by any 3rd parties, such as Bing, etc.?
A: Our organic search results are provided entirely by our own crawler; Mojeek is dependent upon no other search engines when it comes to the act of providing organic search results.

Q: Can you give me any details/statistics regarding your index, such as its size or any other information you care to share.
A: Currently we have over 4.7-billion pages indexed and we are growing at a rate of about 5-million pages a day.

Q: If you care to comment, i'd be interested in knowing the challenges Mojeek faces in light of 'big tech' - i understand that the Google's of the world are making it very difficult for the little guy to actually crawl the www.
A: A relevant issue to this would be that we follow the rules of robots.txt, and every now and again this means we come across sites that are set up with Google and/or Bing crawlers okayed in their robots.txt file but often not other crawlers. As we are a good actor this is normally a case of contacting the site owner and getting it changed, but this can be quite a lot of work for a small search engine such as ourselves.

Private.sh

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: yes
Cookies: no
yes no proprietary ?

Private.sh uses the Gigablast engine and is therefore very similar in terms of search results. I felt it was worth having its own entry because they offer additional layers of privacy which strips your IP address and encrypts searches on the client using JavaScript before they are sent to the server, thus even Private.sh apparently doesn't know what you're searching for. As with Gigablast however, there is no privacy policy.

Right Dao

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no
yes no proprietary link

Right Dao is a U.S. based company.

The search interface is bare and there are no options other than the ability to perform an advanced search. There are only two scopes of searches, they being web and news.

Right Dao searches seem to be fairly comprehensive and so this search engine is a solid choice when looking for politically sensitive information that Google and others censor. While the engine accepts phrase searches, that functionality seems to be very broken.

Their privacy policy is reasonably strong.

Wiby

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page no index JS: no
Cookies: no
yes no proprietary link

Wiby is an interesting, open-source search engine which is building an index of personal, rather than corporate websites. The interface is very plain and there was only one option in the settings, however it was designed to work well with older hardware.

YaCy

Search Page Decentralized Type Requires JS / Cookies Self Contained Client Required License Privacy Policy
search page yes index JS: yes
Cookies: no
yes optional GPL v2+ ?

While YaCy doesn't produce a lot of search results since not enough people use it yet, i think it's one of the more interesting search engines listed here.

YaCy is a decentralized, distributed, censorship resistant search engine and index powered by free, open-source software. For those wanting to run their own instance of YaCy, see their home and GitHub pages. This article from Digital Ocean may also be helpful.

Footnotes

  1. While JavaScript is not strictly required, functionality may be limited if it is disabled.
  2. Refusing to accept cookies may result in settings not being saved.

Upcoming search engines

Alexandria

Alexandria is a very new, open-source search engine with its own index, though it's currently built using a 3rd party. The first version of the source code appeared on GitHub in late 2021. The index is very small at the moment and therefore the service isn't really useful yet.

The interface is sparse and there are currently no options for customizing anything, however there are plans to improve the service.

There was no formal privacy policy at the time of writing, however the little information there is indicates a strong regard for privacy. By default they store IP addresses along with search queries in order to improve the service, however they promise to never share this information and there is an option to disable this behavior.

Alexandria is worth keeping an eye on.

I contacted Alexandria in April of 2022 with some questions. Following is our exchange:

Q: what are your values regarding user privacy?
A: We care a lot about user privacy and plan to let users decide how much they want to share. We run Alexandria.org as a non-profit so we have no incentive to store any info other than to make the search results better.

Q: i see that you have a dependency on rsms.me - depending on 3rd parties is always a privacy and security concern and i think it is often unnecessary - it looks like it's only css that's being imported at the moment, but do you plan on adding any other 3rd party dependencies?
A: Yes we use the Inter font which is open source, we just think it is a nice looking font. We generally have a high threshold for using a 3rd party dependencies but I think it is impossible to build everything ourselves so if there are things other people are better at than us and it is not in our core mission to build it we will use third party solutions. For example we depend on Hetzner for servers, we depend on commoncrawl for high volume scraping. But it's quite likely that we remove that dependency when we redesign the website next time.

Q: what are the long-term goals for Alexandria?
A: The long terms goal is to make knowledge as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. We want to give the users of alexandria.org info that are in their best interest without having to think about advertisers or other third parties.

Q: will you offer unbiased results?
A: Our bias should be to show the results that are likely to be the most useful for users, so that is what we are aiming for.

Q: do you respect robots.txt? personally i'm fine with it if you do not since it seems Big Tech is making it difficult for the little guy to compete in this market
A: Our index is primarily built with data from Common Crawl. But when we do crawling our self we respect robots.txt. Our main problem with scraping is not robots.txt, but that many big/valuable sources of information are behind cloudflare and similar services or otherwise closed to scarping.

Q: how do you plan to finance the project?
A: In the long term we hope to be able to finance it with donations.

Q: what is the current size of your index roughly (pages) and at what rate is it growing?
A: Right now we are just using a very small index while rebuilding big parts of the system. The current index is around 100 million urls. Pretty soon we plan to have 10 billion urls indexed.

Q: what search operators will you/do you support (site:, title:, date: etc.)?
A: None right now. The first one we will implement is site: since it is quite simple.

Q: because the code is available, will anyone be able to run Alexandria on their own server and how will that work? will each instance be independent, or might the indexes be shared across all servers?
A: Our index is not open source at the moment. So anyone who want's to create their own search engine will have to create their own index by crawling the web themselves or downloading data from common crawl or similar.

Presearch

Presearch is (currently) yet another meta search engine which is ultimately powered by Big Tech in that it relies on multiple corporate giants for its search results.

Presearch is currently centralized, though decentralization is a stated goal. In the future Presearch is to be powered largely or entirely by the community in that anyone can run a node and help build an index with content curated by users.

The interface is interesting in that you can select among many different search categories, however it unnecessarily requires JavaScript to be enabled before one can initiate a search and again to display any results.

Presearch uses code from several 3rd parties including bootstrapcdn.com, coinmarketcap.com, cloudfront.net and hcaptcha.com. Such dependencies are often unnecessary, resulting in bloated and potentially insecure platforms which may not be privacy friendly.

Presearch incorporates "PRE" tokens, yet another form of digital currency apparently used for a variety of purposes, one of them being to incentivize the growth of infrastructure and another being to insure the integrity of the platform. I'm not convinced this is right path, but then i don't fully understand it either.

I think Presearch has potential, but the realization of its goals of decentralization and the building of its own index need to be met before it becomes a viable service.

De-listed search engines

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo has openly admitted to censoring and de-ranking search results as well as working with Microsoft's Bing in order to influence their results (DuckDuckGo relies heavily on Bing). In one instance they blacklisted voat.co, a former free speech social platform, and on March 10, 2022, DuckDuckGo's CEO, Gabriel Weinberg, tweeted the following:

Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️ At DuckDuckGo, we've been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.

Weinberg apparently had no problem when the U.S. invaded Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., nor any problem with Black Lives Matter and Antifa terrorists burning and looting cities throughout the U.S., but he suddenly developed a selective crises of conscious when Russia invades Ukraine, which happens to be full of U.S. supported terrorists.

DuckDuckGo also admitted to influencing Microsoft's Bing search results according to a New York Times article:

DuckDuckGo said it "regularly" flagged problematic search terms with Bing so they could be addressed.

DuckDuckGo continues its race to the bottom. From an April 15, 2022, TorrentFreak article:

DuckDuckGo 'Removes' Pirate Sites and YouTube-DL from Its Search Results:

Privacy-centered search engine DuckDuckGo has completely removed the search results for many popular pirates sites including The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and Fmovies. Several YouTube ripping services have disappeared, too and even the homepage of the open-source software youtube-mp3 is unfindable.

On or around 25 May, 2022, it was discovered that DuckDuckGo was allowing tracking by Microsoft:

DuckDuckGo is not safe to browse as Microsoft tracks user data | Technology News – India TV

DuckDuckGo's founder Gabriel Weinberg has admitted to the company's agreement with Microsoft for allowing them to track the user's activity. He further stated that they are taking to Microsoft to change their agreement clause for users' confidentiality.

more...

The trouble with DuckDuckGo began much earlier with its Jewish founder, Gabriel Weinberg:

Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo | Techrights

DDG's founder (Gabriel Weinberg) has a history of privacy abuse, starting with his founding of Names DB, a surveillance capitalist service designed to coerce naive users to submit sensitive information about their friends. (2006)

more...

Qwant

Qwant's privacy policy has apparently deteriorated. They collect quite a lot of data, some of which they share with 3rd parties. Most disturbingly is, like DuckDuckGo, they censor results. Someone from Qwant tweeted the following on March 1, 2022:

#UkraineRussiaWar In accordance with the EU sanctions, we have removed the Russian state media RT and Sputnik from our results today. The neutral web should not be used for war propaganda.

For more information see:

Startpage

As of somewhere around 2018 or 2019, Startpage was partially bought out by Privacy One Group/System1 which appears to be a data collection/advertising company. Source: Software Removal | Startpage.com

Other search engines

The Search Engine Party website by Andreas is well worth visiting. He has done an excellent job of compiling a large list of search engines and accompanying data. Also see the 'A look at search engines with their own indexes' page by Rohan Kumar who did an excellent job of compiling a list of engines that maintain their own index, however do note that privacy was not considered.

Reader suggested search engines that didn't make the cut

Cliqz

The Cliqz search engine, which is an index and not a proxy, is largely owned by Hubert Burda Medi. The company offers a "free" web browser built on Firefox.

It appears there are two primary privacy policies which apply to the search engine and both are a wall of text. As is often the case, they begin by telling readers how important your privacy is ("Protecting your privacy is part of our DNA") and then spend the next umpteen paragraphs iterating all the allegedly non-personally identifying data they collect and the 3rd party services they use to process it, which then have their own privacy policies.

In 2017 the morons at Mozilla corporate made the mistake of partnering with Cliqz and suffered significant backlash when it was discovered that everything users typed in their address bar was being sent to Cliqz. You can read more about this on HN, as well as a reply from Cliqz, also on HN.

Gibiru

I was anxious to try this engine after seeing it listed in NordVPN's article, TOP: Best Private Search Engines in 2019! and so i loaded the website and i liked what they had to say. Unfortunately, Gibiru not only depends on having JavaScript enabled, it depends on having it enabled for Google as well. Fail! It seems Gibiru is little more than a Google front-end and a poor one at that.

Search Encrypt

I added Search Encrypt to the list and later removed it. The website uses cookies and JavaScript by default, their ToS is a wall of corporate gibberish and their privacy policy is weak.

Lastly, Search Encrypt doesn't seem to provide any information about how they obtain their search results, though both the results and interface reek of Google and reading between the lines clearly indicates it is a meta search engine.

Search Encrypt was also recommended by NordVPN who seems happy to promote such garbage.

Yippy

Like Search Encrypt, Yippy is another ethically challenged company with a poor privacy policy looking to attract investors. Yippy uses cookies by default and won't function without JavaScript. This one is also recommended by NordVPN.

Evaluating search engines

There are several tests that you can perform in order to determine the viability of a search engine. To get a sense of whether the results are biased, i often search for highly controversial subjects such as "holocaust revisionism". If you preform such a search using Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo, with or without quoting it, most or all of the first results link only to mainstream sources which attempt to debunk the subject rather than provide information regarding it. If you perform the same query using Mojeek however, the difference quite dramatic. Rohan Kumar also offers several great tips for evaluating search engines in his article, A look at search engines with their own indexes:

  • "vim", "emacs", "neovim", and "nvimrc": Search engines with relevant results for "nvimrc" typically have a big index. Finding relevant results for the text editors "vim" and "emacs" instead of other topics that share the name is a challenging task.
  • "vim cleaner": should return results related to a line of cleaning products rather than the Correct Text Editor.
  • "Seirdy": My site is relatively low-traffic, but my nickname is pretty unique and visible on several of the highest-traffic sites out there.
  • "Project London": a small movie made with volunteers and FLOSS without much advertising. If links related to the movie show up, the engine’s really good.
  • "oppenheimer": a name that could refer to many things. Without context, it should refer to the physicist who worked on the atomic bomb in Los Alamos. Other historical queries: "magna carta" (intermediate), "the prince" (very hard).

Lessons learned from the Findx shutdown

The founder of the Findx search engine, Brian Rasmusson, shut down operations and detailed the reasons for doing so in a post titled, Goodbye – Findx is shutting down. I think the post is of significant interest not only to the end user seeking alternatives to the ethically corrupt mega-giants like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., but also to developers who have an interest in creating a privacy-centric, censorship resistant search engine index from scratch. Following are some highlights from the post:

Many large websites like LinkedIn, Yelp, Quora, Github, Facebook and others only allow certain specific crawlers like Google and Bing to include their webpages in a search engine index (maybe something for European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to look into?) Other sites put their content behind a paywall. [...]Most advertisers won’t work with you unless you either give them data about your users, so they can effectively target them, or unless you have a lot of users already. Being a new and independent search engine that was doing the time-consuming work of growing its index from scratch, and being unwilling to compromise on our user’s privacy, Findx was unable to attract such partners. [...]We could not retain users because our results were not good enough, and search feed providers that could improve our results refused to work with us before we had a large userbase … the chicken and the egg problem. [...]From forbidding crawlers to index popular and useful websites and refusing to enter into advertising partnerships without large user numbers, to stacking the requirements for search extension behaviour in browsers, the big players actively squash small and independent search providers out of their market.

I think the reasons for the Findx shutdown highlight the need for decentralized, peer-to-peer solutions like YaCy. If we consider the problems Findx faced with the data harvesting, social engineering giants like Google, Facebook and the various CDN networks like Cloudflare, i think they are the sort of problems that can be easily circumvented with crowdsourced solutions. Any website can block whatever search crawler they want and there can be good reasons for doing so, but as Brian points out, there are also stupid and unethical reasons for doing so. With a decentralized P2P solution anyone could run a crawler and this could mitigate a lot of problems, plus force the walled garden giants such as Facebook to have their content scraped.

Resources

Recent changes

  • added "License" table columns
  • minor edit
  • added Marginalia Search
  • added more info about DuckDuckGo
  • added Wiby
  • de-listed Qwant
  • minor edits