Microsoft blames ‘system error’ but denies censoring Chinese search results

Microsoft has blamed an “error in our system” for producing results on its Bing search engine that appear to censor information for Chinese language users in the same way it filters results in mainland China.The admission is an embarrassment for Microsoft, which is making a major push to expand its business in China and has just appointed a new CEO, Satya Nadella, who has been a public critic of government surveillance in the US. see earlier report:Bing censoring Chinese language search results for users in the US
Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China.Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms. is Microsoft Bing’s transparency report? by Rebecca MacKinnon
Microsoft was accused this week of extending the Chinese government’s internet censorship regime to the rest of the world through its Bing search engine. I don’t believe that Microsoft intended to do that, but the company is by no means off the hook.After conducting my own research, running my own tests, and drawing upon nearly a decade of experience studying Chinese internet censorship, I have concluded that what several activists and journalists have described as censorship on Bing is actually what one might call “second hand censorship”. Basically, Microsoft failed to consider the consequences of blindly applying apolitical mathematical algorithms to politically manipulated and censored web content.

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