Nicholas Kristof recently put up an article about Bing censoring simplified (mainland) Chinese searches. All of the major search players do this of course, but what’s new is that the censoring happens when if you’re searching from a U.S. IP address (as opposed to within China itself).
Kristof uses Tiananmen (天安门) as his search term, but I think that’s a little ambiguous. Tiananmen Square has a history that stretches well before 1989 (trivia of the day: the 1989 incident was not the first Tiananmen Square incident) and as a popular tourist location, it’s plausible that Bing’s algorithm would turn up lots of friendly-Tianamen-is-a-nice-place-to-visit results.
So let’s try the name of a certain evil cult outlawed in China.
For comparison, here’re the Google results:
Google has 7,490,000 results and Bing has 0? Now that’s implausible.
- Today’s Bing background is of Potola Palace in Tibet, the former home of the Dalai Lama.
- Google includes traditional Chinese character results in search results using simplified Chinese characters (see the last item in the screenshot above).