Microsoft’s Bing censored searches linked to Xi, other Chinese party leaders: Study

According to a new study, Microsoft’s Bing censored names appearing in autosuggestions linked to Chinese party leaders and dissidents.

The report published by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said Bing censored politically sensitive Chinese names over time.

“Bing’s Chinese political autosuggestion censorship applies not only to their web search but also to the search built into Microsoft Windows as well as DuckDuckGo,” the study revealed.

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The study said it found “overwhelming censorship of Chinese character names relating to Chinese politics”  which included “top-level Chinese government leaders and party figures” namely Xi Jinping and Wen Jiabao, a former Chinese premier also historical figures Li Dazhao who is considered the co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party.

The researchers said it found names of Chinese party leaders involved in political scandals or power struggle were also censured on Bing.

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“The censorship of Chinese leaders’ names in the domestic and international versions of Bing in China may be due to Microsoft’s compliance with Chinese laws and regulations,” it informed while adding that there is “no legal reason for the names to be censored in Bing autosuggestions in the United States and Canada.”

The study revealed that Chinese leaders, dissidents, political activists and religious figures in English letters were “also censored in the United States English and Canada English locales.”

(With inputs from Agencies)


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