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Bing Gets Porn Domain To Filter Explicit Content 200

Posted by kdawson
from the still-no-sex-in-india dept.
sopssa writes "Bing has set up a separate domain just for porn images and videos. '[The] general manager of Microsoft Bing said in a blog post that potentially explicit images and video content now will be coming from one separate domain — explicit.bing.net. 'This is invisible to the end customer, but allows for filtering of that content by domain which makes it much easier for customers at all levels to block this content regardless of what the SafeSearch settings might be.' When Bing was first launched, there was some online chatter about explicit images popping up when videos were 'previewed' in the search results. This means the thumbnails and videos are served from that domain, allowing easy filter of them in corporate and school networks. Users still normally use www.bing.com. Instead of heavily filtering the results, this is quite a good move."
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Bing Gets Porn Domain To Filter Explicit Content

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  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SupremoMan (912191) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:30AM (#28345635)

    I'm tired of non-explicit images ruining my Google searches!

  • Hrmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Narkov (576249) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:31AM (#28345637) Homepage

    Is the reverse possible? I.e. explicit content only??!! :)

  • by pegdhcp (1158827) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:34AM (#28345655)
    ... an explicit content provider. I guess soon Linux related content would be served by nasty.bing.net, just in case...
  • by JustinKSU (517405) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:34AM (#28345657)
    How does Microsoft define what is 'explicit'?

    That would be an interesting job. Microsoft Smut Engineer. Wait, I think that's what they already call MS Office developers...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Well for example a slashdot post explaining in explicit detail why a MS product is crap will be automatically filtered as explicit content.
      • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:18AM (#28345813) Journal

        Come on gang, forget the snark below his post, this guy has a piece of the puzzle right! MS can lever the threat to "accidentally" label polka spotted portions of the web as "explicit" while daring the global web community to figure it out!

        While he's funny with the MS-product side, they can accept payments to label ANYTHING as explicit! Wheee!!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Or for example, they really want to do business in China so they label anything "free Tibet" explicit, etc etc.ÂIt is a good idea in the sense that it can give better control of what goes over your network. But it is very open to abuse.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Exactly. There is no difference between "heavy filtering of results" and results that are explicit coming from a separate domain. All that means is that it makes it easier on your end to filter the explicit.bing.com. Who decides what is explicit? Microsoft. What if you don't agree with them? What if you are the owner of that content? Is there a resolution process? Do you have to sue them? Can you sue them?

        • by houghi (78078)

          The same goes for Google where the default is to use moderate filtering.

    • by l2718 (514756) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:59AM (#28345743)
      The easiest way is using the "keywords" META tag which I'm sure is used by most explicit sites to self-identify. The problem of determining the semantic content of a site (not to speak of interpreting images) is hard, but "Safe searches" of various kinds have been around for a long time so I'm sure there's been some progress on the text processing side. I doubt computer vision has reached the stage when it's easy to identify a nude.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SolitaryMan (538416)

      Well, laugh all you want, but where I work (our company does search.... kinda...) we have this position :) At least some sort of it.

    • by Barny (103770)

      Oh yes, they have worked out a cross-certification deal with /b/ residents, please expect official papers to arrive via certified post any day now.

    • by dodongo (412749)

      That would be an interesting job. Microsoft Smut Engineer.

      Heh. I've actually done this; not for Microsoft, but another search company (for a _real_ search company, one might say to get in a cheap shot ;)

      It's actually not nearly as much fun as it sounds. At some point, your soul just feels dirty -- it's not just porn; depending on the strength of the filter, you could also be looking for drugs, innuendo (OK, I really like the innuendo...), hate sites, etc. Hate sites are the worst.

      While blocking the domai

    • How does Microsoft define what is 'explicit'?

      I'm guessing their definition is something like "Well, no one's buying the whole bing thing, so put up whatever porn will get people there."

  • by jw3 (99683) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:44AM (#28345683) Homepage

    "Microsoft is never done when it comes to providing tools to help customers, whether they are large enterprises, local school districts or parents" - Mike Nichols, general manager of Microsoft Bing.

    Never done.
    Yep, sounds informative.

    j.

  • Microsoft today heeded the lessons of technological history, taking the popular "preview porn videos in the search engine" feature and turning its Bob Hope search engine [today.com] into a porn finder at the address explicit.bobhope.microsoft.com.

    "It worked for VHS over Beta, porn sites were leading innovators in online payments. It's a natural synergy," said Steve Ballmer, looking somewhat sweaty and flushed.

    Porn sites are some of the keenest users of Microsoft technologies, using the undocumented interfaces in Internet Explorer to install helpful toolbars and bulk email tools on users' systems. "It's all about tools. Developers, developers, developers, developers!"

    Windows 7 final will include a "boot straight into porn" mode. "We found that was what users really wanted in an operating system." It will include the Storm, Conficker and FBI botnets as standard. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

    Mr Ballmer promised that Microsoft will, as always, deliver. "Unlike porn sites, we don't just tease — we really will fuck you. Totally."

  • good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:52AM (#28345713)
    I hate it when I type pretty much anything in for an image search in google and I end up with porn. Okay when I'm at home but when I'm at work ... not so cool.
    • Re:good idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by SpinyNorman (33776) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:41AM (#28345883)

      This Bing change won't help with that.

      I don't expect that the image or video results you get with Bing vs Google at any preferred level of "safe search" filtering are much different, and that's not going to change with this announcement.

      All the Bing change does, rather belatedly, is stop overriding parental controls (Open DNS, Net Nanny, etc) that would block porn domains. What happens up until now is that Bing self-hosts all it's image/video thumbnails from it's own servers - porn included - and starts to play these thumbnail videos automatically - direct from Microsoft's servers - when you mouseover them. Since the videos are coming from a Microsoft domain rather than a porn domain, parental porn filters are bypassed.

      All the Bing change does is to move Microsoft's porn video reviews from bing.com to microsofts-hard-core-porn-server.bing.com so that Open DNS, Net Nanny, etc can once again be used to block this stuff.

      • Interesting. I didn't know they hosted the content. When you maximize a video it seems to be a plugin from youtube or whatever. Is this only for the thumbnail view then?
      • Re:good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pbhj (607776) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @08:05AM (#28346213) Homepage Journal

        [...] Bing self-hosts all it's image/video thumbnails from it's own servers - porn included - and starts to play these thumbnail videos automatically - direct from Microsoft's servers - when you mouseover them. Since the videos are coming from a Microsoft domain rather than a porn domain, parental porn filters are bypassed.

        All the Bing change does is to move Microsoft's porn video reviews from bing.com to microsofts-hard-core-porn-server.bing.com so that Open DNS, Net Nanny, etc can once again be used to block this stuff.

        When are they going to be sued for copyright infringement then?

        It can't be long now surely. Everyone go and search bing for RIAA managed songs on video. Perhaps we can get these snakes to simultaneously eat each other??!

        • by Rockoon (1252108)
          Microsoft isn't a poor old lady with no chance to defend herself, so no.. they would not go after Microsoft.

          I am still suprised that Microsoft hasnt gotten into the p2p file sharing arena. Its the sort of thing they could dominate rather easily via simple bundling, and I dont even think the RIAA would consider going after them. Just make it gnutella-like with no central tracker and winning against it will be quite difficult because of the deep pocket effect.
    • Rule 34 [xkcd.com]

      That site now exists, and the content isn't half bad.
    • I'm not sure if this is a BOFH thing or just a plain old bastardly thing in general, but it is always worth a bit of a chuckle modifying the HR prudes search engine to display unfiltered content.

    • I hate it when I type pretty much anything in for an image search in google and I end up with porn. Okay when I'm at home but when I'm at work ... not so cool.

      My advice: spell check before you submit 'pretty much anal thing'. I've never had porn results whe searching for images on google yet...

    • by nem75 (952737)
      Probably stating the obvious, but Google's search has filter options for explicit content, too.
    • Re:good idea (Score:4, Informative)

      by secondhand_Buddah (906643) <secondhand@buddah.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @10:01AM (#28347089) Homepage Journal
      Um, turn safe search on.
    • by againjj (1132651)
      Turn on safe search: http://images.google.com/preferences [google.com] You do not even have to be logged in.
  • I guess they found a much more lucrative application for parental controls.

  • by Starayo (989319) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:00AM (#28345757) Homepage
    Isn't that technically a subdomain?
  • by Necroloth (1512791) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:05AM (#28345773)
    What a way to get into the hearts and hands of millions of users worldwide! I think they'll be finding the usage of Bing shoot up dramatically but I'd like to see the comparison between normal Bing and xXx Bing!
    • by W33B (901545) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:36AM (#28345865)
      Absolutely!

      When I first read about this yesterday my gut reaction was to immediatly go to bing and search for porn (after turning off the filtering of course)...

      ...and seeing as the speed of this thread is relatively slow for slashdot, i'm betting geeks around the world are doing the exact same thing.

      Marketing Genius....long live the porn providers!!!
    • normal Bing and xXx Bing

      Must be a Vin Diesel thing.

    • by westlake (615356)

      What a way to get into the hearts and hands of millions of users worldwide!

      An adolescent obsession with porn seems to be one of the defining qualities of the geek.

      Playing against the stereotype can be very profitable. Case in point: The Wii and the hard-core gamer.

  • by tumbleweedsi (904869) <simon,painter&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:06AM (#28345775) Homepage
    Google just make sure they let the filtering people know how to categorise the pages based on if Safesearch is on or off. On my filter I can choose to block google images entirely or just when safesearch is off and that works just fine without needing another domain name.
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:49AM (#28345909)

      That works great for individual users. This is -not- meant for individuals. This is meant for companies, schools, etc. You can block that domain at your firewall/proxy/dns/whatever and make -sure- none of your users see it, no matter what settings they choose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tumbleweedsi (904869)
        Sorry, I wasn't being clear. My network proxy which I run on the network of an enterprise storage company allows me to block pages when safesearch is off. That means that the users can do whatever they like in google images but as soon as they turn off the safe search the results pages are blocked until they turn it back on. I know there are a lot of the "mom's basement" sorts around on slashdot but please don't assume I am one of them.
        • by dave420 (699308)
          Wouldn't it just be easier to block access to a single hostname than all of that malarkey? It would fit in with every single web-filtering piece of software out of there.
          • by jaseuk (217780)

            Yes it would.. I quite agree with Microsoft's idea, it's a good one. Much better than analysing URLs / cookies etc. to detect the Safesearch status.

    • How is that better? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Junta (36770)

      You can either filter on a sophisticated ruleset te detect what you describe, or you can block one host in one domain (the same domain of 'bing.com', just a different host record within it....)

      It's good that google accommodated the need, but just because Google did it one way and MS did it another that Google's way must be better (by better, this would mean easier).

      It would help to have the flaws in MS's approach actually described and how Google's overcomes it.

  • Surreal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by berpi (1187131) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:18AM (#28346023)
    Who's got the explicitometer to decide which domain to place content in? Censorship is getting increasingly surreal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      Censorship is getting increasingly surreal.

      Maybe it is, or maybe it isn't. But this thread had nothing to do with censorship. We're talking about a private web site run by a business. They are under absolutely no obligation to show, index, or communicate anything in a particular way. Serving the thumbnails off of a separate domain doesn't censor anything. It changes nothing unless you take some extra step yourself to block traffic coming from that domain. Regardless, it's not the government, there's no f
    • I expect the "explicitometer" is just the same exact same none/moderate/strict classification that both Google and Bing's "Safe Search" preferences offer.

      This change by Bing isn't some big brother restriction on your porn viewing... it's just coming closer** to honoring your wishes by not allowing you to view porn sites that you, yourself, have already chosen to block via Open DNS, Net Nanny or whatever!

      ** Of course, you can still see Microsoft hosted thumbnails (incl. videos) from sites that you've chosen

  • by jimbo-nally (655135) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:32AM (#28346087)
    I have to say that this is really nice. I just added explicit.bing.net to the list of filtered content in our SonicWall and then did an images search for breasts on bing.com with safe-search off and the images that displayed were not what I would consider porn. Many of the images, if not most, were not displayed. I will feel much better about allowing access to bing.com for our students now. Can't believe I'm saying this...but "Good job, Microsoft!"
    • by tjstork (137384)

      I will feel much better about allowing access to bing.com for our students now.

      It's interesting that your post is modded "funny". Evidentally many on slashdot that have read your post do not understand the terrible parent that school administrators have to deal with. If porn did get through, I could see your mug on a bunch of news sites... "school lets kids look at porn..." You have to clamp down, in your case, or parents would just eat you alive!

  • by viralMeme (1461143) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:42AM (#28346133)
    how to block adult web sites [opendns.com], the non Microsoft way. Of course this doesn't deserve a whole article on slashdot .. :)
  • by ItaliaMatt (581886) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @08:00AM (#28346185)

    Instead of explicit.bing.com it should have been bada.bing.com

  • Got nothin'

  • by avn (1577961) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @09:30AM (#28346803)
    try typing linux into bing... after 'linu' it will give the following suggestions:
    linux
    linux windows
    linux microsoft
    linux vista
    linux commands
    ...

    while google suggests:
    linuxtoday
    linux
    linux commands
    linux mint
    linux download
    ...

    Already seems a little jaded.
    • "linux windows, linux microsoft, linux vista"

      Yet more Microsoft search innovation. It is patently obvious that 'search' is a weapon in directing people to websites that Microsoft want you to go to ..

  • by chord.wav (599850) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @10:28AM (#28347357) Journal

    ...if you search for "best loan insurance" and you get tons of broken images. Clever.

  • "Explicit" is an even stupider way to describe porn than "graphic" is, because it always applies to way more than what you really mean. If you mean porn, then say "porn."

    It always amused me when music albums used to come with an "parental advisory: explicit lyrics" warning; they might as well have just said, "look out, this album isn't all just instrumental" or "warning: not much abstract symbolism, the writer actually knows how to write."

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