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Censorship Microsoft

This Isn't the First Time Microsoft's Been Accused of Bing Censorship 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-can't-find-that-right-now dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft has censored Chinese-language results for Bing users in the United States as well as mainland China, according to an article in The Guardian. But this isn't the first time that Bing's run into significant controversy over the 'sanitizing' of Chinese-language search results outside of mainland China. In November 2009, Microsoft came under fire from free-speech advocates after New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof accused the company of 'craven kowtowing' to the mainland Chinese government by sanitizing its Chinese-language search results for users around the world. Just as with The Guardian and other news outlets this week, Microsoft insisted at the time that a 'bug' was to blame for the sanitized search results. 'The bug identified in the web image search was indeed fixed,' a Microsoft spokesperson told me in December 2009, after I presented them with a series of screenshots suggesting that the pro-Chinese-government filter remained in effect even after Kristof's column. 'Please also note that Microsoft 'recognize[s] that we can continue to improve our relevancy and comprehensiveness in these web results and we will.' Time will tell whether anything's different this time around."
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This Isn't the First Time Microsoft's Been Accused of Bing Censorship

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  • Re:Bing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Your.Master (1088569) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @12:21AM (#46235513)

    You searched for the manuals, but not the pages inside of them, so your counterargument is irrelevant.

    To be fair, I am not able to confirm or deny this about these manuals, but I've had similar problems with other technical documentation. If I were just looking for the main site I'd be fine, but the main site has 100 MB of data and bizarrely, every site in the world seems to be significantly worse with its inline search than either Google or Bing, even if they are theoretically powered by Google or Bing (not clear on why). The sybase one seems to roll its own internal search, which has awful presentation at least, and I didn't see an inline search on IBM either.

  • Re:Bing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @12:56AM (#46235653)

    To have an unbiased opinion, you really should have your search plugin randomized. Organically, you will notice one is better. Or maybe they have different strengths depending on subject.

    I don't know anyone who can speak to that honestly, and usually people who say one search is better are just better trained to use it vs. others.

    I know how to modify a Google search with "wrong" words to make it find what I'm after, so it works better. Bing is at least slightly different, so if my search didn't work I'm stuck. That means I'm better at Google, not that Google is better at me.

    And the more they tweak, the less of an edge I have. Some day I expect it will be a tie, especially when they track which results get clicked to determine which results to show. People don't know if it is worth clicking until after, not before the click.

  • Re:Bing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bberens (965711) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:14AM (#46235697)
    I find Bing is quite adequate and sometimes better for random queries about facts for non-technical questions. As a general rule if I'm querying about something technical I will find the results faster on Google. I fully recognize that this may be learned behavior on my part.. that through experience I know exactly the key word combinations I need to feed google to get the results I'm looking for. Additionally, I find Bing Maps to be equally good for the user and much better as the developer. However, based on the other "stuff" in the Google ecosystem I can't be fussed to switch. I use Google maps on Android, therefore I use Google maps on the desktop. I use Google Docs because it's free (and cheap for my business). I buy all my music through the play store, I watch lots of youtube content, etc. Even if Bing search was better than Google search in every way, it would have to be better *enough* to get me to break outside of the Google ecosystem. It's definitely not.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:20AM (#46235721)

    I don't know anyone who can speak to that honestly, and usually people who say one search is better are just better trained to use it vs. others.

    Every now and then, I switch to Bing for a few weeks.

    I don't really want to use Google, I like to even things out and not give Google all of the valuable data about search and search results preferences.

    But, I can say with certainty, Google is simply better. At least a few times a day when I've switched to Bing as a default engine, I have to load Google to actually find what I want.

    It's true of programming (as you'd expect) but also true of photography, travel, and random other categories of things.

    At the moment, Google simply is noticeably better than anyone else. Which is why I switch back, because at some point you just need to use tools that work well for a while.

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries