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OtherIamA McDonald's warehouse worker AMA!

Jan 25th 2018 by iizn • 33 Questions • 36 Points

Hi, today is the 11th annual Data Privacy Day! 2018 can be the year where we stand up to Big Tech and start to take back our privacy.

I'm the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs.

For the past ten years we've been operating a private alternative to Google search, with over 16 Billion private searches served. We just announced a new mobile app and browser extension that extends our privacy protection beyond search to wherever you go on the Internet, by blocking trackers, upgrading your encryption, and more.

We also have a blog at spreadprivacy.com with a lot of specific device privacy tips, privacy explanations, and privacy research.

I'm here today with some other DuckDuckGo team members who will help me take as many of your privacy questions as possible!

  • yegg
  • tagawa
  • dilithium
  • b1ake
  • cainetighe
  • xpxlx
  • zekiel
  • brindy
  • subsymbolic

For more on me personally, check out ye.gg.

My proof: https://twitter.com/yegg/status/957743755091759104

Edit: thank you for all the questions! I'm headed to bed now :). Happy Data Privacy Day (and night)!

Q:

Have you seen the movie The Founder, and if so, did you like it?

A:

Are there aspects of hyper capitalism that you think are best understood via cartoons? Or really hit home through a visual medium? Thanks!


Q:

For fucks sake. $20K is a big fuck you. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

Have you still been able to lead a successful life due to these bs charges on your record?

A:

What do you think caused your hypertension? I'm pretty ignorant to what causes hypertension. Eating habits? Life habits? Drug usage? Smoking? Drinking? Super stressful job? Certain life experiences? At any rate, get well, dude! Glad you caught it when you did.


Q:

I work in Physical Therapy, and as a caregiver, I was wondering if you could give some tips to caregivers as to how you would like to be treated? Any good or bad examples I could learn from?

I did one of my inservices on MG while going through school, but did not learn about your type until I read your AMA today. Thanks so much for sharing so we can all learn!

A:

Are there aspects of hyper capitalism that you think are best understood via cartoons? Or really hit home through a visual medium? Thanks!


Q:

As someone that only recently began using more secure internet practices is there anything that I can do about the profile that Google etc have already build on me?

A:

I have never seen it, however it looks interesting! I’ll watch it tonight and get back with you. :) thank you for letting me know about this


Q:

I guess I've staked my career on the idea that nearly everything is better understood via cartoons! I think there's something about seeing impersonal forces (giant corporations) embodied in a character (the endless giant millipede Algi) that puts some emotional punch into what otherwise might be a dry or overfamiliar account.

A:

Yeah, I mean, I feel like $20k is a lot of money, but when I look back on it, I don't think it really made up for anything.

Everyone's juvenile records were all erased, however I met a kid in the detention center that I wound up hanging out with afterwards. We did get into adult trouble together about a year after I got out. Bumpy start to adulthood. Used most of my settlement to repay restitution and court costs for adult problems.

Since then I've turned my shit around. Own a business, father of two kids, ran for mayor, lost, do a lot of volunteer work, run lots of community events. Deep down, I think those places had both positive and negative effects on me.


Q:

It is an open question. I'm in pretty good shape all things considered. 6'1" 190 pounds, low LDL cholesterol. I drank but not heavily really. No drugs, no really stressful job.

When I was in the hospital, both the kidney and heart doctors were very confused about what was going on. I guess there are around seven causes of malignant hypertension and I don't have any of them. I, like an idiot, suggested genetics but they immediately were like "yea that is part of it but why you and not your sister" who has healthy blood pressure.

My cardiologist is sort of a character. During the first time he met me, he asked me if I had ordered vodka from Ukraine that was possibly watered down with antifreeze. That is how confused they are with why I developed this crazy blood pressure.

A:

With patience. MG is a snow flake disease so we are all so so different but we are all trying. I once had a PT tell me she didn't think I could have MG cause of the schedule I take my meds on and cause I don't look sick........... I won't go see a PT again.. it hurts when people assume you are faking it.... I know I don't look physically ill but I am very very sick. Last night I had to be carried to my car to go home from an event because my legs did not work. It was humiliating. ( And why I decided to do this AMA). We just want to be normal and treated as such.


Q:

I guess I've staked my career on the idea that nearly everything is better understood via cartoons! I think there's something about seeing impersonal forces (giant corporations) embodied in a character (the endless giant millipede Algi) that puts some emotional punch into what otherwise might be a dry or overfamiliar account.

A:

Yes, we have an article about deleting your Google history.


Q:

I also work at a Martin Brower. i am curious how your incentive pay works? how many minutes do they make the selectors pick there for 10 hours?

A:

What was it like having Jackie O as an editor on the first volume? Was it as surprising for you as it was for me to hear that she was such an enthusiastic supporter of the project? Did she mention if she had read many comics before?

And this isn't a question, but thanks for all the years of great work!


Q:

I work closely with kids in mental health treatment centers that come off as being similar to detention centers.

What could staff have done to help your stay there?

I saw that there was a lot of abuse but were there staff members that helped you at all?

A:

By the looks of your skin yes, it almost looks like the guy who was poisoned in Russia. I guess that’s the kidneys. I hope you get better.


Q:

OMG. I'm so sorry this PT said that. It was way out of line and wrong and rude and does NOT reflect how PT thinks of MG. You are definitely not "faking it".

I am cautious not to be an "ableist" a term I was recently introduced to. I always try to treat people with respect and compassion without making them feel less than or small because of their illness--because they are neither!

I have an invisible illness myself so I can relate to professionals acting as if there is nothing wrong...grr!

Thank you so much for answering my question!

A:

What was it like having Jackie O as an editor on the first volume? Was it as surprising for you as it was for me to hear that she was such an enthusiastic supporter of the project? Did she mention if she had read many comics before?

And this isn't a question, but thanks for all the years of great work!


Q:

How do you guys make money? I did a quick scan of the web site and only saw donations mentioned. I love your product and it is the default search for all my browsers.

A:

We make .39 per minute we finish above the standard. We also had people come from the road crew that were confused about our process. We don't work a set schedule, we just leave whenever we finish our minutes. Today we did 10:50, it usually depends on volume, call-ins, PTOs, dispatch times, and all kinds of things. Our minutes usually vary between 500(8 1/2 hours) or the max of 700(11 hours 40 minutes)


Q:

Thanks for your thanks. The first time I flew to NY to meet her, I was a little airsick during the descent. As we approached JFK airport, I thought, "she used to be married to the guy this airport was named after!" and I about barfed right then and there.

Then it turned out that I actually met her on the 25th anniversary of the assassination, Nov. 22, 1988. It was telling, I think, that she was at work like any other day.

The short answer to what she was like to work with is: GREAT. You couldn't ask for a better supporter within an organization. She had clout, and she had tremendous political skills. Kind of flirtatious, too.

She was the editor of the second book, too, but she died before it came out.

A:

I really liked a lot of the staff. Like anywhere, you have dicks and genuinely good people.

Some staff went out of their way to be personal with the kids. Share life experiences, get to know them, give advice, etc...

For clarification I was in four different places. With four drastically different methods to their systems. One was a very not strict bland type of detention center with cells where the kids wore provided sweatsuits and followed a schedule for the day. I remember nothing significant of the staff there.

Another was a very laid back place with more of a home atmosphere aside from the locked doors and fences. The staff there were generally nice and took the time to get to know the kids. This was also a VERY new facility when I went there. I was probably the 12th kid ever sent there.

One was an INSANELY nice place from the outside, with a pond, bicycles, riding paths, gym equipment, etc... Got there and found out it was all broken or no longer allowed. Lol. Most staff there were seasoned vets. Mostly irritable. Some were decent, but a majority of them had been doing it for so long and didn't care to get to know the kids anymore since the place held a few hundred and staff usually juggled around.

The last place was very strict. I got cocky about pushing in my chair silently one time and wound up being restrained on the floor for about three hours.

Shift change came and they literally switched out. I only struggled for about 10 minutes of it. They screamed in my face and I pretty much cried the whole time.

It's fucked up, but I feel like that last place kinda helped me a lot.

I wasn't cocky again after that. Lots of yes sir, no sir out of my mouth. After that, the place got investigated from kids being hurt.

One staff member in one of the lighter places would bring in his guitar and teach us. Another brought his xbox and played with us. I really liked when it felt more like a big brother or sister rather than a staff/inmate.


Q:

that guy with the nuclear poisoning? I wonder if that would explain everything. haha

A:

Thanks, but it's not your fault. You seem like a lovely person!! I even do things like that myself and I know how handicapped I am. I think it's ingrained into our brains that everyone around us lies to get what they want. And that's a difficult thing to break. Still it's hurtful and all of us need to be mindful of how we treat each other


Q:

Thanks for your thanks. The first time I flew to NY to meet her, I was a little airsick during the descent. As we approached JFK airport, I thought, "she used to be married to the guy this airport was named after!" and I about barfed right then and there.

Then it turned out that I actually met her on the 25th anniversary of the assassination, Nov. 22, 1988. It was telling, I think, that she was at work like any other day.

The short answer to what she was like to work with is: GREAT. You couldn't ask for a better supporter within an organization. She had clout, and she had tremendous political skills. Kind of flirtatious, too.

She was the editor of the second book, too, but she died before it came out.

A:

It’s a myth you need to track people in web search to make money. We primarily make money by serving ads just based on the keyword you type in, and not any personal information or search history, which we don’t have per our privacy policy.

For example, if you type in ‘car’ you will get a car ad. It’s that simple. For more details see our help page on the subject.


Q:

our daily standard for 10 hour days is 520 and 620 for 12 hour days. the only incentive in place here is for the more senior guys and they get to leave once they hit the 520. overall its a pretty good place to work though

A:

What is the very best dessert?


Q:

Fuck that judge.

What movie have you watched more times then any other ?

What did you eat when you got out the second time ? first meal out I guess I mean.

A:

I wish you the best of luck in your treatment and recovery. Has your doctor discussed CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) with you? CAPD was a game-changer for my father in the early '80s. He went from having to go back and forth to the dialysis center, sometimes in distress due to built-up electrolytes, to feeling good nearly all the time and feeling like he was in control of his own treatment. He sadly received an infection due to a hospital visit resulting from another condition, and the nurse staff were not prepared to properly observe his CAPD protocol. But this was back when CAPD was new -- hopefully you can benefit from it and nurse staffs are more aware.


Q:

My grandmother is 75/just had a myasthenia crisis after a mild heart attack. Is she gonna be ok? :,(

A:

What is the very best dessert?


Q:

How else do you make your money since you said "primarily"?

A:

Which state is yours in?


Q:

Coffee mousse.

A:

I've probably watched Talladega nights way too many times.

We stopped at McDonalds. Lol. It was about 8 months since I last had fast food.

I also met my now Stepdad on the ride home.


Q:

Yea, PD is a big thing. One of my in hospital doctors was all about it.

I might consider it eventually, but right now I hardly ever feel that rough from my kidney failure. The big thing for me is that I don't want to have to do it every day and I like having two days off in a row. If I weren't peeing out a lot of the electrolytes and felt shit after eating too much salt or something, I think I would feel pressure to try something different. Right now, I don't feel that though.

A:

I honestly don't know how to answer that.

Hopefully! I certainly always hope so with everyone. Medicine is getting better, a new medication was just FDA approved for MG a few months ago, the first one in more than 50 years. Is she seeing a neurologist? If you want to message me I will get you links to our FB support groups.

My Mg is not controlled well, but this is a relatively rare thing. Today I had trouble walking and had to be carried to my car.

I know people with MG who are in their late 80's, but this month alone 13 people have died because they got sick and then had MG complications. My dad died this time last year from MG complications. Sadly with this disorder, we just never know.

I wish I had better news... What do her doctors say?


Q:

Coffee mousse.

A:

We make a small amount from affiliates, also anonymously -- see our help page for details.


A:

Follow-up : what did you order ? I have never had a quarter pounder from Mcdonalds, or a mcrib.

Mcdonalds make little baby jesus happy. Sitting there in his manger holding a happy meal.


Q:

The benefit to peritoneal dialysis is that it can be done at home and over night using an automated exchange machine and allows you to retain a much better quality of life

Blood exchange dialysis is much harsher on your system and will eventually cause other problems (calcification of vessels being the worst)

I noticed elsewhere you mentioned a fistula placement. These eventually degrade and need relocating or new ones being fitted and can sometimes even block after fitting. None of these treatments are designed to be life long, and I don’t say that with the intent to upset you. They are a poor facsimile of what your kidneys can do and delay at best the inevitable (sometimes for many years)

PD works by having a tenckhoff catheter (tube in belly going in to your peritoneal sack) where fluid is exchanged in and out generally over night. Fluid is then left in during the day (takes much getting used too and gives you a belly) which absorbs much of the toxins your kidneys can’t. It’s much less harsh and is suitable for patients with less “severe” kidney failure. Sometimes even after trying this method it is still not viable for some patients. Even if for some reason your exchange machine breaks you can manually drain and refill using gravity, slower yes, but allows more flexibility in your lifestyle.

A:

She just had a tracheotomy yesterday. She’s hospitalized and looked really good today. She hasn’t walked since her heart attack.


Q:

Would you ever cooperate with government bodies to create a backdoor to any of your programs?

A:

Nope! US. There are quite a few around the country.


Q:

Hahaha. I don't remember what I ordered, but that's definitely how I like to imagine Jesus.

A:

This is super informative. One of the things that has been kind of hard with this part is that I don't know what I don't know so when people ask me if I have any questions, I feel like I'm content info wise.

I most of this (except that you leave the fluid in during the day) but I felt like I gained context. I will have to think more about it.

Fwiw, it does seem like there are people going through the donation process so hopefully any dialysis choice I make won't be too consequential for too long.


Q:

I would make sure she see's a neuro who knows about MG and also that they check her for a thymoma or thymic hyperplasia. Where is she located? I may be able to suggest some docs.

A:

No.


Q:

45 hrs a week at 19.50/hr plus 200-300/week... and you’re on pace to hit 70k? How’s that work

A:

Hi everyone,

I'm from the area(Luzerne County, which is near Scranton, PA. Yes, the Scranton from The Office)

A lot of people want the gist of the story, more answers, etc.

So here it is, from someone who has experienced first hand Luzerne County's "Culture Of Corruption".

First off, let's establish that the two judges who went to jail, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were gushed over by plenty of officials/staff on Luzerne county. Notice that the same papers blasting those who stood by and did nothing were also those who praised Conahan/Ciavarella for their "tough" sentencing style. I don't recall which off the top of my head, but one of the two won the Newspapers "Man Of The Year" award.

A property developer, Robert Mericle, had gotten a prison contract and in exchange for cash bribes, the judges would sentence the kids harshly for often nothing crimes. One girl received 3 months for a fake mocking facebook page of her principal.

The story on the books is that two judges went rogue and that was that. They were caught, got jail sentences, public condemning, and that was that.

But that's not where it actually ended, or even started.

To understand how corrupt this county is, you have to take a look at it in context.

Take Anthony Lupas. Anthony Lupus was a local attorney, and the chairman for his towns Democratic Party Board. His son, David Lupas, became the District Attorney(DA). The son is now a judge. What's wrong with this? Well, Anthony Lupus was a ponzi scheme artist. A pretty damn successful one, too, with over $6 million missing. Now, the sins of the fathers don't always transfer to the son, but they do when the son borrows $400,000 to run unopposed.

What you witnessed in Kids For Cash was not justice finally taking place, but rather a coup that took place for others to rise high.

The situation hasn't gotten better, it's actually gotten worse as the new criminals are actually competent compared to the two failures of human life that were Conahan and Ciavarella.

Proof that the uppers don't really care about what happened? The most exclusive and expensive private school in the areas sports field is the Robert Mericle sportsfield. This came up after Kids For Cash, and while you could argue it would be OK if he was just accused, he wasn't. He was convicted. Convicted. Anthony Lupas name is still up at our local Casino, take a look.

One of the worst areas is Dupont. Dupont was(is?) pretty much the Wild West. There were 3 cops in the area. One is in jail for being a drug addict, one is in jail for molesting children, and the DA who was elected following the outing of the criminals will no longer recognize the old Chief of Police as a cop.

By the way, the one who was molesting the children had his wife beg officer John Saranchuk for help. Saranchuk's response? Telling her that if she kept pushing, she'd be arrested. The drug dealer? Well, I can't say if Officer Saranchuk has a drug problem. I can say that when the FBI raided the Dupont police office, that a pretty large amount of cocaine was missing. After the drug user(or one of them) was gone.

The new police chief had to give up his gun because of a PFA filed against him.. This is "progress" in Luzerne County.

The current assistant DA is the reason many of the Kids For Cash cases went through.. So when you ask "But why didn't you do X? The answer is that a lot of the time the assistant DA would say "just let this go, you'll only make it worse by fighting." Hey give him credit, they would have made it worse.

These days the Luzerne County Courts are basically Kangaroo Courts. Go into court and observe. Play Bingo with any of the following:

Refusing to have certain parties go under oath.

Threats of contempt of court.

Refusal to even hear certain motions. Can't appeal something if it was never legally denied. Pretty clever, right?

A person involved in the Kids For Cash scandal but still somehow with a law license.

Rampant nepotism.

Rampant cronyism.

Now, Luzerne County is somewhat split. No one will say anything bad about the Kids For Cash victims, but you'll get the occasional "just some troublemakers who got to spend some extra time" in juvy. Others want to speak up but can't. Others speak out, and are punished for it.

There is a ton of stuff I won't go into here in depth, but feel free to look the stuff up if you're interested:

The fact the old court administrator was the brother-in-law of Conahan(meaning the guy who can decide where cases go was related to the guy who judged the cases.)

Gas Gate(In which thousands of dollars of gas was stolen, and seemingly disappeared)

Leo Glodzik, a corrupt businessman who had cars illegally towed. Poor people were essentially left to walk in the cold. Nicer cars were towed. Off duty cops were caught multiple times driving cars possessed in this way. The man was convicted, the cops were not.

The fact that one of the judges, the honorable Lesa Gelb, stole her firms client list when she went off on her own, and then had this squashed.

The pay-for-play DUI system, in which the mayor of Laflin(the town where both judges for Kids For Cash lived, as where Lupas lived, his son lives, and Sanguedolce live) wasn't charged for an obvious DUI.

I can answer other questions, assuming I don't get a knock on my door.


Q:

You said your blood pressure at the time of admission was 210/145.... what was your regular blood pressure like in the past?

A:

I have no idea .-.


Q:

so does DDG have a Government Privacy or other Warrant Canary?

A:

45 hours is just a rough average. Some are 40, some 60+.

40 hours = $40,560 $250 a week of performance pay = $13,000 7.5 hours a week of overtime = $11,407

Add that all together and its just $3 short of $65,000. Again, these are just estimates based on averages.


Q:

So accurate. I've put my story out there before once or twice locally...

People here wouldn't believe the amount of "It was your own fault" or "It's not the judge's fault".

For some reason, the corruption is not only ignored but accepted locally.

A:

That is the mistake I made -- I don't really know. I hadn't been to the doctor for 7-8 years probably before this happened. It was never really a problem in college or high school. Unclear when the hypertension developed or exactly how high it was.


Q:

That's okay. It's all new. Feel free to reach out if I can help.

A:

Warrant canaries are problematic for a number of reasons, but in our case it is irrelevant because we do not store any data so there is nothing to hand over. Case in point, for the ten years we've been around, we haven't received any warrants.


Q:

Are the french fries created in your factory? I assume the factory is where the fries are initially cut, fried, frozen, and bagged up for shipment to the restaurants. Russet potatoes?

A:

How did your first "conviction" happen? The one where you got sent away for six months - did you have a trial, did you plead guilty?

Did your mom try to get a lawyer when you were incarcerated for six months?

And what about your second offense? Same questions.

I understand there was a corrupt system (no defense attorneys? That is really messed up), but I'm familiar with the juvenile justice system where I live and you'd have gotten next to nothing for those offenses where I am.


Q:

I hadn't been to the doctor for 7-8 years probably before this happened.

This is one of those things I don't understand. I say this as a 29 year old man who has nearly always at least done a yearly checkup but doesn't have any chronic medical conditions (that I know of).

I can understand if you don't have insurance, but it bewilders me how every guy my age, including the ones with good jobs/insurance, seems convinced going to the doctor is something you only need to do if you're concerned you might die if you don't go.

A:

What would you say had been the biggest challenge about living your life with GRMG?


Q:

thanks for the explanation and the direct refutation of any government attempting to access your service through legal or non-legal means, its good to get a clear answer.

what is it about Canaries that makes them "problematic"?

A:

The fries are actually already made, they come in on a train. McDonald’s orders most things from specific companies. They are prepped to be dropped in the deep fryer and then salted


Q:

There was no real trial. I stood there with my mom in front of the judge. No defense attorney. My mom cried. She said she wanted me to get help with my issues at home but didn't want me taken away. The judge didn't care and sent me away. My mom called lawyers and elected officials. Everyone she could for 6 months. One day out of the blue I was told to pack my things up because I was getting out.

The second time, it was basically the same. No defense attorney. Me and the judge. The juvenile court room was much different than any other court room. The judge and the other workers there all seemed like buddies. There was no feeling of fair justice. No telling your side. Just the judge putting you away. Scary to a kid, and even scarier to me as an adult knowing that it happened that way.

A:

I think it happens a lot. What can I say? I deffo paid the price for it.

also, I didn't even think I was going to die when I first went to the doctor and my blood oxygen was 81. I just thought I had some acid reflux.


Q:

Umm, there are actually quite a few things... 1. I have had to have open heart ( for lack of a better term its pretty much the same procedure) surgery twice now to get of a MG related tumor called a thymoma... That was extremely difficult. 2. Feeling the loss of independence I have felt over the past three years since being diagnosed. 3. I think the most heartbreaking and difficult thing is/was the only person who really understood what I was going through die from RgMG ( my dad also had MG and died at 46, a year and a week ago). Even though they say it's not supposed to be hereditary. It was in my case.

A:

Here's a couple articles on the subject.


Q:

what are some of the best practices used in your warehouse? What is best way to deal with incompetent supervisor in your opinion?

A:

$20k doesn't make up for your years lost, and that's obviously understandable. Have you ever thought about what would help the past injustice sting less? For example, an apology from the judge, or new laws to prevent this from happening again?


Q:

Sorry if this sounds really insensitive, but is it true that dialysis can cure a hangover?

A:

Weird, seems like some text books need to be re-written if both you and your dad had an ultra rare "non-heriditary" disease


Q:

What’s the extent DuckDuckGo relies on Amazon’s AWS?

Are you concerned this reliance/relationship might create a vulnerability (or back door) for the US government to unscrupulously monitor searches, especially for non-stateside users?

A:

Safety is always first. Communication, cooperation and integrity as well. As far as an incompetent supervisor goes, your best bet is working it up the chain or calling corporate if it’s actually legitimate


Q:

Time helped a lot.

As I've said in other answers, the places weren't all bad. Aside from the obvious negative aspects, I did learn a few things and the experience did make me grow into the person I am today. Better or worse.

I don't want to hear from the judge, but I suppose an apology would help. I think I'd rather just let him know that I no longer blame him and explain what I was put through.

A:

so the very first time i had dialysis I asked this. She said that it makes you throw up. However, I have gone to dialysis once while hungover (the monday after new years) and I guess it kind of helped. You get some iv fluids when the process is happening so I imagine that was most of it. Also, I guess any residual junk in blood from drinking would get filtered out.

However, the big thing is drugs. I've had like 5-6 warnings about drugs. Don't put drugs into my chest tubes (fucking lol at the prospect of doing that) but also they told me that if you are high on something or are an active drug user for some drugs, dialysis can intensify the withdrawal effects of some drugs. I guess. I don't know much about the drug part.


Q:

There are a few families I know of with MG through my support groups. Not many but a few

A:

We use AWS to make our site fast around the world. All traffic sent to DuckDuckGo is encrypted (A+ at SSL Labs including PFS), and that encryption protects your query in transit to our servers, which are controlled by us at the OS level, with special attention given to security. Since we don’t log personal information there is also nothing to recover of value from a user perspective on these machines’ disks.

Additionally, all sites need to be hosted somewhere, and to be fast, in a significant data center. Such co-located hosting has significantly less security, much more vulnerable to physical tampering.


Q:

Are there any special 'requierments' to working in the warehouse? Like being able to lift however much weight or other 'odd' things you might not need to be able to do working in the restaurant end

A:

Sounds like you did something a little bad but not as bad as some kids in there...

Did you meet anyone who did less than you? I mean... what's the stupidest thing you heard that someone did to end up in the detention center?


Q:

So is there no silver lining at all?

A:

If it's your immune system that's causing problems, wouldn't giving yourself AIDS cure it?


Q:

Do you use the verb "Google" in conversation?

A:

Yes, it’s all mainly physical, although a big deal of it is being able to deal with the mental strain. Doing that amount of work over and over again can be straining on anyone, regardless of physical fitness. You have to just be ready to work. Long hours, concrete floors, working in various environments, and a fast paced environment are a few things you will deal with.


Q:

I don't remember asking any other kids what they did until I was in the last place I was in. It was a really strict place with intense therapy groups and pretty bad physical punishment for the kids. (Staff broke a kids arm and gave another rug burn from head to toe for an escape attempt.)

In a Balanced And Restorative Justice group one day, we went around and said what we were there for. Kids were saying drugs, theft, robbery... The kid before me says he forgot his gun at someone's house so he went to go get it and brought his other gun, and when he got pulled over by the cops he forgot a third gun was under his seat so he was arrested for having two of his three guns on him.

I said "I told my teacher my dad would fire her..." Lol.

A:

lol no not really. its pretty annoying and has put a pause on a lot of the stuff I had going on. But, there is nothing I can do so there is no reason to focus on those parts.


Q:

Ummmmm. No lol

A:

I personally don't, though I don't get offended when people do. It has become a generic term like Kleenex at this point.


Q:

What were their reactions to that?

A:

Damn man, I’m really sorry. At least you’ve come to terms with it, somewhat


Q:

How would you rate your pain on a 1-10 scale, and how much does it vary day by day?

A:

I've been using DDG for a long time, but Google's search results are often still better. No dead links and search results based on my context (e.g. software development) - how will Search quality be improved in the future?


Q:

They didn't respect me. Lol. I don't know how else to word it.

I felt a need to prove myself I guess. Acted out a bit there at first.

The place was strict. Like insanely strict. I got cocky once when told to push my chair in more quietly. They restrained me for a few hours. On the floor with football linebacker sized men holding me down. I fought and cursed at them for 10-15 minutes. Gave up and cried for a while after. They had shift change and just swapped out the guys holding me. Screamed in my face about rules and respect etc.

After that the kids respected me and I respected the staff. Win/win I guess.

When I was leaving that place there were noticed put up not to hit or hurt the kids.

Staff sat there while we talked on the phone so we couldn't tell our family what it was like. Word got out after two kids tried to escape and staff broke one of their arms and gave them pretty bad rug burn while restraining them AFTER they were caught and brought back in.

Staff made us watch that time.

A:

thanks. you also can't even drink beer when you have kidney failure lol


Q:

I have lupus as well so physical pain tends to be from that. MG itself does not cause physical pain in most cases. Emotional pain varies from day to day.

A:

Thank you for being a long-term user! We really appreciate it. We've been working hard on making our results better, and really think they have massively improved over the past years to the extent where they are on par for most users. Of course, there are always areas where we can improve, and really look at and welcome all feedback. There is a feedback box on the search results page that is the best way to communicate with the team.

Be rest assured, however, that we are constantly looking to improve search quality.


Q:

You should've said "Littering."

A:

Do you struggle with context-based results because no data is stored?


Q:

On the group w bench!

A:

Not generally since most of the time intent is pretty clear from the search terms. In cases of ambiguity it is best to add another search term, and that usually clears it up.


Q:

Did you get into any fights inside?

Any time you genuinely feared for your safety? Did you get bullied or picked on?

Did the people inside split along racial lines like they do in prison?

A:

All of google tracking also helps give you better search results. So you can't expect it to be AS good as google. You are trading privacy for convenience.


Q:

I was bullied at times. Other times I was the bully. I got into a few fights.

In the place where fighting and bullying did occur, there wasn't much staff intervention and there were definitely groups and a sort of hierarchy.

There was some racial tension. At the one place, I was the only white kid and the only kid not from a big city with bad crimes, which felt a little intimidating, but after a while we all got along great.

A:

That may appear at first blush to be a good thing, but when most people say they want personalization in a search context they actually want localization. They want local weather and restaurants, which can actually be provided without tracking, like we do at DuckDuckGo. That’s because approximate location info is automatically embedded by your computer in the search request, which we can use to serve you local results and immediately throw away without tracking you.

On the other hand, more personalization has serious downsides. You expect unbiased results, but that’s not what you get with personalization. You get results tailored to what they think you’re likely to click on, based on the data profile they’ve built on you over time. These personalized results are dangerous because to show you results they think you’ll click on, they must filter results they think you’ll skip. This is commonly referred to as the Filter Bubble.

So, if you have political leanings one way or another, you’re more likely to get results you already agree with, and less likely to ever see opposing viewpoints. In the aggregate this leads to increased echo chambers that are significantly contributing to our increasingly polarized society.

This Filter Bubble is especially pernicious in a search context because you have the expectation that you’re seeing what others are seeing, that you’re seeing the “results.” On DuckDuckGo, we are committed to not putting you in the Filter Bubble. We don’t even force people into a local country index unless they explicitly opt-in.

Additionally, most intent can really be inferred from the query, and in an ambiguous situation it is as easy as adding another word.


Q:

What goes through your mind, at 15, when you realize you're going to jail for two years? Was anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts a big factor? How did you adjust and calm the sudden impact of this?

A:

I just wanted to say thanks. I just checked and I bookmarked DDG on April 3, 2009, so I've been using it at least since then.

Also, sometimes I will link to a DDG search result here on reddit (for example, I love /r/whatisthisthing) and sometimes I get a comment like "Oh, DuckDuckGo? You're one of those types huh? How's that tinfoil hat fit you?"

Does it bother you as much as it bothers me that some people think taking reasonable steps to protect your privacy automatically makes you some kind of whack-job, terrorist, pedophile, or worse? Because it bothers me a lot.

I use that Snowden quote sometimes, "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." It doesn't seem to help much against people who are determined to believe otherwise.


Q:

Well, they don't tell you how long. In fact, you never know how long it will be. At any point. There was no "finish line".

The places had systems of treatment and let you out when you were ready.

It sucked at first. Then it still sucked but you got used to how things were. Then it still sucked, but you dealt with it and it became normal.

A:

Yes, that does bother me though thankfully this view is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We've been doing research and have found privacy has really become a mainstream concern and growing fast. This past year has really pushed it over the edge with nearly daily headlines of data breaches, reports of invasive ad targeting, election meddling, etc.


Q:

Do you have any power to also implicate the people that are responsible for "KARS 4 KIDS"? Specifically the people who created the advertising jingle.

A:

What made you relate privacy with ducks?


Q:

Working on going after them next.

A:

As you might have guessed, they are not related at all :).

I actually came up with the name DuckDuckGo before envisioning a search engine. It popped into my head one day on a walk with my wife, and I liked the name so much that I decided to use it for whatever I worked on next, which ended up being a search engine.


Q:

My question is this, what do you think about the US prison system?

Edit: my fist comment was deleted, here's what it said. In the US private prison industry, the corporations have contracts with the government, the corporation gets a certain amount of money per prisoner, but if the government doesn't keep the prison full enough, usually like +90%, the corporation FINES the government millions.

That's a major part of why we have a small portion of the world's overall people, but 25% of the world's prisoners.

We are not free. This coutry sucks.

A:

How can a general young US citizen keep privacy today without being called into suspicion by means of "If you have nothing to hide then why not show what's inside?"

I've tried to understand a way to verbalize why that argument is a bad idea, however, I just don't have the words.

Also, any recommendations for a less "I'm watching you" PRISM/Echelon type experience? I know it's hard today but if there is a way to keep things like UI but allow for privacy, that would be great : )


Q:

As a juvenile, I was in places that generally focused on rehabilitation and therapy. They all varied in how they did it, with some more physical and some more emotional, but they still focused on fixing issues and making you a better person.

I did get into trouble as an adult and was very let down that it was literally just a time out with no steps towards corrections, despite being a "correctional facility".

I feel like jails and prisons should focus much more on the individual inmates and work to recover them.

A:

Hi! Yes, the good news is that privacy is now mainstream and you needn't feel ostracized for wanting to reasonably protect your privacy. People recognize it is a fundamental right and you don't need to prove the necessity of fundamental rights to anyone. Also, it's a simple answer to say to people everyone wants to keep certain things private, and you can easily illustrate that by asking people to let you make all their email, texts, searches, financial information, medial information, etc. public. No one wants that.

In terms of having a more seamless private experience, that's exactly why we launched our new app and extension - check it out as it seems that is what you're looking for.


Q:

If I were to search for "isis bomb making videos" from my home IP with no VPN using duckduckgo, should I still expect a knock on the door? This is hypothetical, but I'm serious about the question.

A:

No, you should not expect a knock at the door. We've been around for about 10 years and have heard about no such knocks.

The connection between you and us is encrypted, so no one in between you and us can see your search terms. Then, we don't store your IP at all, so there will be no record of it after your search.

Note, though, a lot of sites off the search engine could be monitored, and if you want to browse completely anonymously, Tor is a good idea.


Q:

Thanks for the response!

As a follow-up, what would you say if someone were to challenge you on the ethics of not policing or flagging searches and potentially allowing a user to use your site for ends that could endanger the public at large?

A:

Real, sophisticated bad guys can easily make their online activity anonymous. These technologies are readily available across the world and can be used with or without DuckDuckGo. We allow everyday people to keep their sensitive information private, out of the hands of advertisers and Big Tech.


Q:

How do we know that you're not a secret Google project that reports everything to Google?

A:

If we're a secret Google project, no one's told me about it :).

Also, I would hope it would be easier to get duck.com not to point at Google search and confuse people, easier to get us as a default search option into Chrome (like we are for Safari and Firefox), and easier to change the default search engine on the Android search widget, which remains impossible.


Q:

What's the story with duck.com?

Any short aliases to get to duckduckgo.com?

A:

ddg.gg goes to duckduckgo.com. duck.com was inherited by Google in an old acquisition (of On2), predating us, but it used to point to a history page about the old company. Only when I inquired about it did it mysteriously start pointing to Google search.


Q:

What is your goal for this year? What is DuckDuckGo's endgame?

A:

Our goal this year was kicked off last week and is to help people more easily protect their privacy as they search and browse the web, no matter where they go on the Internet. In particular, we've made a new app and extension with all the privacy essentials in one seamless package: tracker blocking, upgraded encryption, private search, and more. It's available on all major platforms and the idea is on any device you should be able to look up DuckDuckGo and be easily protected with one download.


Q:

What thing on the web is something everyone considers “Safe” but is not actually safe?

A:

Oh man, these are large pet peeves of mine :)

I'll give you two:

  • So-called incognito mode doesn't do what most people think in that “Incognito” mode doesn't really make you incognito! It’s an extremely misleading name and in my opinion should be changed. All it does is delete your local browsing history after your session on your device, but does nothing from stopping any website you visit from tracking you via your IP address and other tracking mechanisms like browser fingerprinting. We did a study showing how much people misunderstand private browsing modes.

  • Browser "do not track" settings. You'd think if you turned on do not track, you might not be tracked? Not so. It is a voluntary standard and hardly any site does anything to adhere to it, including pretty much all of Big Tech. In my opinion it should be completely removed from browsers until it has mandatory compliance with regulatory teeth behind it.


Q:

What is your preferred web browser for a windows machine?

A:

On Windows, Firefox, Brave, and Vivaldi are all good choices. I personally use macOS though.


Q:

Preferred browser for macOS? What extensions do you use? :)

A:

I personally switch between those and Safari depending on the context -- and I use our new extension along with Lastpass and Pocket.


Q:

Would it be possible to publicly share a hypothetical response to a secret government warrant? Like a made-up user with made-up searches and show us exactly what would be handed over to the government? I remember Open Whisper Systems did that for a Signal user and it was really cool to see.

A:

We really have nothing to hand over to the government since, unlike say messaging or email, we don't need to collect or share any personal information at all. That's one great thing about web search, that all searches can be independent and so you don't need to save anything about the person searching after the search.


Q:

on the DDG Answers API page there's a line

For the same reason, we cannot allow framing our results without our branding.

What does "framing" mean here? (i.e., what sort of things are not allowed?)

Also is there any hope that we might have a full search API in the future?

Thank you for providing such an excellent service.

A:

You're very welcome.

What that means is to make an iframe of duckduckgo.com and make it appear as if it is another search engine, i.e. white-label DuckDuckGo. Does that make sense?

A full search API is not on our roadmap right now.


Q:

Have you always been a privacy advocate or events you can mention made you notice the importance of not letting your data public for anyone collect it?

A:

I've always been into personal freedom, and I believe having privacy is a fundamental constituent of being free. I came across the more nuanced issues with privacy and the Internet in grad school; I went to the Technology Policy Program at MIT.

With search privacy in particular, I hadn't considered the full implications until actually seeing search logs and seeing how truly private they are. People ask their search engine their most intimate questions, such as medical, financial, and political. Those should be private, and studies have shown that people actually curb their searches once they realize they aren't totally private on other search engines.


Q:

Where can I learn more about online privacy?

A:

This past year we launched a blog at spreadprivacy.com with great information. In particular I'd recommend signing up for our privacy tips newsletter which will send them to you on a good schedule. All the content is also online here.


Q:

How do you see yourselves growing over the next few years?

A:

Our vision is to raise the standard of trust online. That’s what we hope to do long-term, and we are always open to and thinking about ways to further execute on this vision.

Our current plans on doing so include:

  • Continuing to provide a solid private alternative to Google search. Google has more data on people than any big tech company by far, and search data is arguably the most personal, as people search for their most intimate financial, health, and personal problems.
  • We just expanded beyond our roots in search, with updated mobile apps and browser extensions that protect you beyond search, wherever you happen to go on the Internet. See our announcement for more details.
  • Last year we kicked off a major focus on general privacy education, on our blog, newsletter, and social media.
  • We continue to make substantial donations to like-minded organizations.
  • We plan to continue doing our own primary privacy research and advocacy where we see we can make a significant impact.

Q:

Ever thought about hosting a free private email?

A:

DuckMail has crossed our minds :), though no immediate plans.


Q:

Why is the US so far behind Europe on data privacy? While they're implementing GDPR, we're rolling rules that allow ISP tracking. Is it a cultural or political thing?

A:

It's political. Culturally, the US is similar on privacy and in fact protecting privacy has truly become mainstream. I believe because the will of the people is there, it is only a matter of time until we follow suit.


Q:

Is there any desire for DDG to become politically active in any way, shape or form? Endorse candidates? Create forums for politicians to discuss and debate privacy issues? Also, what organizations do you believe are most effective right now in terms of fighting for privacy rights? (EFF and EPIC come to mind - any others?)

A:

We've been donating to organizations that share our vision and values for many years, and our donations page lists and links to a lot of great organizations that fight for privacy rights.

We've also become more active ourselves, such as signing on to court cases where we can add unique value or putting out our own statements. We would like to do even more though, and plan to step up these efforts over the next few years.


Q:

Google has become a verb to search for things. How could you make DuckDuckGo into a verb?

Started using your search engine a couple of months ago. I hated that Google would track my location in maps and suggest Home or Work without me telling it to store those addresses against my name.

Now that Ive turned off the setting to monitor places I often visit, whenever I go Home or to Work, it asks me if I want to turn the setting back on. Only those two places. Bastards.

A:

Hah, thanks for being a DuckDuckGo user! "Duck it," "DuckDuckGo it", "DDGd it" could be a thing :), but sadly I don't think we're going to get rid of Google as verb -- it's too ingrained at this point to the extent it is generic like Kleenex.


Q:

Have you ever been contacted by bigger data-tracking services? Google or Facebook for example?

A:

It depends what you mean by contacted. We've spoken to a lot of different companies in one way or another.


Q:

Often these days there are a lot of bots and astro surf.

This might be a little out of your usual wheel house, but do you know any ways that the average internet dweller like my self can combat these?

A:

I suggest disengaging with Facebook altogether. That may sound extreme, but I've been happily Facebook-free for many years, and studies are slowly showing this has health benefits.

On Twitter and other social media you can try to be discerning about who you follow.