Microsoft’s Bing Spews Chinese Propaganda

November 23, 2009

(ChattahBox)— Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is calling for a boycott of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, for what he terms “craven kowtowing” to the Chinese censors. He discovered in June, that conducting a search using simplified Chinese characters resulted in pro-Communist results, even if the search engine was used in the United States. Microsoft’s initial response to Kristof’s discovery was to blame it on a temporary “bug.” But six-months later that “bug” seems to have been embraced as corporate policy.

Microsoft responded once again to Kristof’s findings of Bing’s support of China’s censorship, by blaming the disparities in searches using simplified Chinese characters, as yet another “bug,” which was particularly evident with image searches.

Kristof is having none of it and he is calling on Microsoft to come clean about the company’s true policy:

“Microsoft apparently doesn’t want to pursue the Google solution of having separate sites – one that produces generally legitimate results (google.com) and another within China that blatantly censors (google.cn). Instead, Bing figured it would have one site and just censor all the results in simplified Chinese characters. It then compounded the problem by dissembling and disguising its policy. That’s craven and embarrassing, it betrays the integrity of Microsoft searches, and for me it’s a reason to boycott Bing,” wrote Kristof.

Kristof remains “very skeptical” that Bing’s discovery of a new censorship “bug” would be fixed, as Microsoft claims.


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