Ernesto Van der Sar, writing for TorrentFreak:
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.
Update 3/18/22: A spokesperson for DuckDuckGo, speaking with BetaNews:
After looking into this, our records indicate that YouTube-dl and The Pirate Bay were never removed from our search results when you searched for them directly by name or URL, which the vast majority of people do (it’s rare for people to use site operators or query operators in general). Most everyone searching for these sites were finding them without interruption.
We are having issues with our site: operator, and not just for these sites, but now at least the official site should be coming up for them when you use the site: operator for them. Some of the other sites routinely change domain names and have spotty availability, and so naturally come in and out of the index, but should be available as of now.
I originally wrote this on Friday and couldn’t get results from youtube-dl’s website or The Pirate Bay, regardless of whether I used the
site: operator. I’m able to get results from both of them now. Perhaps this was simply a temporary issue without any intent to remove the aforementioned sites or maybe this is just a convenient excuse after they saw a bit of backlash from the removal.