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Censorship Microsoft

Bing Censoring All Simplified Chinese Language Queries 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the boy-that's-a-great-wall dept.
boggis writes "Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times journalist, is calling for a boycott of Microsoft's Bing. They have censored search requests at the request of the Chinese Government (like certain others). The difference is that Bing has censored all searches done anywhere in simplified Chinese characters (the characters used in mainland China). This means that a Chinese speaker searching for Tiananmen anywhere in the world now gets the impression that it is just a lovely place to visit."
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Bing Censoring All Simplified Chinese Language Queries

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  • contrast (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:09AM (#30183086) Journal
    well if their goal was to differentiate from google, i guess "don't be evil" is a good place to stand apart.
    • Re:contrast (Score:5, Informative)

      by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:44AM (#30183216) Journal

      well if their goal was to differentiate from google, i guess "don't be evil" is a good place to stand apart.

      Google also censor results in China. Search for Tiannamen Square or Falun Gong on google.cn and you find just the same whitewashed results as with Bing. The difference is merely one of implementation. Google has done it by censoring the results in their country-specific site. Bing have done it by censoring results when you search using a language form popular in mainland China. It's hard to say conclusively which is least effective. With Google you can search via one of their international sites to get around it. With Bing you can enter search terms in a different language such as English. Both are, of course, subject to the Great Firewall of China interfering when you follow results to places like Wikipedia etc. which is not the fault of either Google or Bing.

      So in summary, Google innovates and Microsoft copies. Not much change there, but unfortunately they have both sold out to the Chinese government. Neither is clean.

      • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:37AM (#30183374)

        Assuming we have an Internet surfer searching for information about Tiananmen square.

        Inputs can be "Tiananmen" or tian1an2men2 in simplified Chinese (which will not render on /. due to missing UTF8 support)

        Compare the Google returns for searches
        http://www.google.de/search?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&btnG=Search [google.de]
        http://www.google.cn/search?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&btnG=Search [google.cn]

        http://images.google.de/images?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.de]
        http://images.google.cn/images?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.cn]
        (note the difference in the TLD, safe search is off in all cases)

        Wildly different results, the CN domain returning no image of Tank Man and the DE domain returns nothing BUT him.

        Trying that again in traditional Chinese:
        http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.de]
        http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.cn]

        Results almost identical, with only a slight variation in their order.

        http://www.google.de/search?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw&start=0 [google.de]
        http://www.google.cn/search?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw&start=0 [google.cn]

        Results again wildly different. Both searches now return Chinese content, but the DE domain prominently features a YouTube link to our good old friend Tank Man, while the CN domain prominently features a city map and Baidu links, which are guaranteed to not contain something about Tank Man, I can assure you.

        This get's more pronounced if we search for Tiananmen in Chinese AND the year number 1989, which simply must return some content about the protests if the search engine itself is any good.

        http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.de]
        http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.cn]

        Same result: both searches return pages entirely in Chinese, but the DE domain return a Chinese photo of the protests first and the CN domain returning only photos of The Party Leaders and happy soldiers.

        Let's compare the results with other TLDs
        Russia:

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          I can't mod you up because I'm posting all over this thread. But thank you for a very useful post.
        • by Jeeeb (1141117) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @07:42AM (#30183584)
          Trying that again in traditional Chinese:
          http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.de]
          http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.cn]


          I don't speak (or read) Chinese but I do know Japanese and can recognise simplified vs traditional characters. I'm pretty sure that search is in simplified characters. I replaced the "men" with the Japanese "mon" which is identical to the traditional Chinese "men" and the results changed significantly. Link:

          http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%96%80&btnG=Search+images [google.de]
        • by nkh (750837)
          You should search for the Tienanmen [google.cn] square (with an e instead of an a) and you'll get pictures of tanks in the chinese version of Google. Of course I'm not located in China, but still, I see tanks in the chinese web site.
        • by kjart (941720)

          Example search terms to try are Mac OS, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows - the results and the fairness of the results are abysmal.

          Can you actually back that up? I just tried searching for Linux, Ubuntu and MaC OS on bing and google and the results were very close. I didn't see any kind of fairness bias (in fact, Ubuntu results are possibly more useful on bing since it specifies the official homepage as the first result and there is a direct link to the Get Ubuntu page).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        >>>Google has done it by censoring the results in their country-specific site. Bing have done it by censoring results when you search using a language form popular in mainland China.
        >>>

        The Microsoft solution strikes me as the quick-and-dirty solution, while the Google method shows more advanced programming.

        And for those that say, "Google shouldn't censor results," then you are naive. If Google did not censor, then Chinese government would block them completely and MS would quickly obtain

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by phiwum (319633)

          And for those that say, "Google shouldn't censor results," then you are naive.

          Some people say Google shouldn't censor results because it is immoral to do so. If it is immoral to censor results, the fact that MS will gain dominance in China is irrelevant. So is the fact that failure to censor will hurt Google's bottom line. Most moral realists believe that moral norms trump other norms, so if it is immoral for Google to censor, then they shouldn't censor.

          Note: I'm not necessarily in that camp. I'm not sure whether censoring results in China is morally prohibited or not. I'm just

          • Re:contrast (Score:5, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @09:42AM (#30184150) Journal

            Logically, accepting "someone else may do it if I don't" as a justification for your own immoral behavior guarantees a state of immoral behaviour existing. The only possibility of achieving a state without the immoral behavior is to not engage in it oneself. Yes, you are exchanging a certainty of their being immorality for a possibility that there might not be, but some of us consider that progress. And you might be surprised what an example can achieve sometimes.

            My take on things.
            • >>>The only possibility of achieving a state without the immoral behavior is to not engage in it oneself.

              By that reasoning we should all stop paying unconstitutional taxes. For example the USF tax that is collected to give electricity/phone service to rural farmers. Or stop paying the SSI tax. Or as a protest the ~$2000 billion bailout of rich people in Wall Street. None of these were a power granted to Congress. Of course that also means spending time in jail.

              Or... we could pay these unconst

          • Fact is morality goes out the window when board members look at the dollar signs. Rationalization fully takes over and we get what we have today. There is no leverage won here, just cash.

          • Re:contrast (Score:4, Interesting)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @12:33PM (#30185808) Journal

            >>>Some people say Google shouldn't censor results because it is immoral to do so. If it is immoral to censor results, the fact that MS will gain dominance in China is irrelevant.
            >>>

            Not really. You have the choice of two evils:
            (1) Google and Microsoft coexist. They both censor but at least there's competition and choice.
            (2) Google is blocked from China. Microsoft is allowed in because they "play ball". MS quickly becomes a monopoly.

            Option 1 has one evil (censorship). Option 2 has two evils (censorship and a corporate monopoly). I choose the lesser of the two evils which is option 1, and I suspect Google has the same thought process. ----- I also recognize that in politics, things change over time. Sometimes in the future I expect that Google will pressure China to remove the censorship from search results. Google can not exert that pressure if they are not in China.

            >>>I'm just trying to explain why your claim that others are naive is insulting and false.

            (shrug) It's not my fault the opposite side didn't bother to think it through. It's a bit like the Slavery protester John Brown, who believed all he had to do was grab a military base and the slaves would rise up. He didn't think it through either, and ended-up dead

        • "The Microsoft solution strikes me as the quick-and-dirty solution, while the Google method shows more advanced programming."

          I know I prefer a more sophisticated implementation when I am censored. Perhaps Google could add another advanced feature like logging the IP for "suspect" searches for the Chinese government.

      • Re:contrast (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mikechant (729173) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @08:50AM (#30183842)

        Google also censor results in China. Search for Tiannamen Square or Falun Gong on google.cn and you find just the same whitewashed results as with Bing. The difference is merely one of implementation.

        I don't agree. I think there is a clear moral difference. Google seem to be doing the minimum they need to do to comply with Chinese law - restricting what is seen via the (effectively Chinese govt. owned) .cn domain in China. MS are apparently censoring everything that is seen by anyone using simplified Chinese anywhere in the world. Yes, they could use another language - if they even release that some search results are 'going missing'. So MS get the 'evil' award in this case because they are in practice censoring far beyond what even Chinese law requires.

      • Google also censor results in China. Search for Tiannamen Square or Falun Gong on google.cn and you find just the same whitewashed results as with Bing.

        Yeah, they all do. The interesting change here is that they are censoring based on language, not based on where you're searching from. See:
        Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China [wikipedia.org]

        List of what they're censoring here: List of words censored by search engines in the People's Republic of China [wikipedia.org] (including, almost as interesting, some comments on words not blocked)

        ...So in summary, Google innovates and Microsoft copies. Not much change there, but unfortunately they have both sold out to the Chinese government. Neither is clean.

      • True for google.cn, not google.com. TFA is talking about any search done at bing.com done in Chinese. I agree that both parties are dirty, google chose to keep the dirt where it started and bing makes it world wide... not the same thing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by budfields (1663047)
        Pardon me, but what if the Chinese searcher in question doesn't know English? Also, to my eyes at least, worldwide censorship is certainly worse than limited in-China-only censorship, necessary to do business in China at all, which can be easily avoided by Chinese citizens.
    • Evil? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus (799657)

      From TFA:

      Microsoft's current position, which insults my intelligence and yours, is that there was indeed a bug of some kind and that that is fixed--but that searches in simplified characters continue to produce pro-Communist results because of the algorithms used.

      Think about this. Most web sites that are in simplified Chinese are probably in... Wait for it... China!

      So I'm guessing that since discussion of topics contrary to the state agenda will get you thrown in jail, that most sites written in simplifi

      • After a VERY few searches it is Obvious that Bing is a very poor search engine, Not even on a par with what Altavista was.

        Now, M$ EVIL (TM),

        implemented cluelessly. As soon as their grip in American Corporates is broken they are in for a very hard time.
        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          After a VERY few searches it is Obvious that Bing is a very poor search engine, Not even on a par with what Altavista was.

          What were your search terms?

    • it seems that most companies now, at the request of various governments, copyright groups, spy groups, "security" policies, police, pro-paranoia parents groups, etc are working on many ways to censor everything. and in many cases, succeeding to a good extent, as a result of the work done. in the US, it's mostly corporations using lawyers- but it works. what happened to the "uncensorable" internet? where are the projects to make communication "uncensorable" again? perhaps these belong more properly in the
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Bing, Google, and Yahoo all censor results in China.

      The only difference here is that Bing doesn't differentiate between Chinese language, and Chinese location-- so if you're searching in Chinese, even if you're in the US, you still get the censored results. I don't believe this is really that big a deal, frankly... maybe in BC.

  • Are they stating on said search results that they have filtered the results due to Chinese laws?

    I mean, they can be only so subtle about it before China decides to block it entirely but at least MS could dangle that bit of info there for any one curious to wonder "Hey, now what law is that and why is it enforced?"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are they stating on said search results that they have filtered the results due to Chinese laws?

      I mean, they can be only so subtle about it before China decides to block it entirely but at least MS could dangle that bit of info there for any one curious to wonder "Hey, now what law is that and why is it enforced?"

      It's most likely illegal to give people unbiased information or hint at the fact you are being compelled to give limited information. Living with government abuses is a condition of doing business in any country.

      It's not just China that does this anyway, they just do it worse than most. Behavior of this type is common in most countries. I've seen a few blatant examples of this kind of censorship from the UK coming from both the government and private interests. It's likely that for every government abuse of

      • I was thinking more along the lines that Google puts up a notice saying some results are not shown because they are complying with local laws. That's probably not the exact language but I think it's close.

  • Anyone surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NecroPuppy (222648) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:20AM (#30183126) Homepage

    This is Microsoft.

    They probably meant to only censor these things in China, but v1 of their filters are worldwide.

    They'll have it fixed by v3. Probably. Maybe. I doubt it.

    (Note: I also think that the MS Bing commercials are about the dumbest I've seen. They beat out the mother and son's college roommate making kissy faces at each other. And that takes doing.)

    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:28AM (#30183340) Journal

      Note: I also think that the MS Bing commercials are about the dumbest I've seen

      Smart people will choose products based on their needs and their research on the matter. Commercials are for the people who associate brands with lifestyles (i.e. silly people). Don't be surprised if you find their commercials dumb, be uh, depressed that there exists a target audience for those commercials. Hmmmm. I need to re-think this. :(

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @07:50AM (#30183614) Journal

        The type of people who say I should get "real" jeans called Levis, instead of the same quality but lower priced Arizonas or Wranglers. I used to fall for that nonsense, listening to the advice of the crowd ("Levis are cool; others are not") but not anymore.

    • "I also think that the MS Bing commercials are about the dumbest I've seen."

      You don't watch much TV do you?

  • not really (Score:5, Informative)

    by siddesu (698447) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:21AM (#30183132)
    DNRTFA, but I just did a search in Simplified Chinse for Tiananmen, and the first couple of hits referenced the massacre. Links to Wikipedia and bloggers discussing the events also popped up. I am not in China, FWIW.
    • Re:not really (Score:4, Informative)

      by TeethWhitener (1625259) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:54AM (#30183248)
      Yeah I did a search on Bing [bing.com] for "" ('six-four,' a mainland reference to June 4, 1989, the date the army was deployed in Tiananmen Square) in simplified chinese and the tank man picture was still there under images. Though I'm also not in China. For comparison, the same search in google.cn [google.cn] yields a message at the bottom of the page saying something like 'According to local laws and policy, some search results are omitted.'
  • Chinese (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopSpin (753) * on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:29AM (#30183150) Journal

    Bing censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. Google [slashdot.org] censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. Yahoo [slashdot.org] censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. As a result of whatever you care to attribute the subservience of the Chinese people, 21% of our species is subject to the filtering policies of the Chinese government. Ultimately the Chinese must be the the reason this tyranny comes to an end. Or not.

    The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by syousef (465911)

      The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

      Stop expecting the Chinese to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, despair.

      • Re:Chinese (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elnyka (803306) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:31AM (#30183352) Homepage

        The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

        Stop expecting the Chinese to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, despair.

        Not us anyone, but themselves. There is no reason to despair for 1.34B that prove ultimately incapable of liberating themselves. Most of their wounds since the late 1800's are culturally self induced.

        It'd be nice to see them finally get the fuck up as a modern, democratic (or at least humane in the modern sense) nation, but there is a point that you just go "agh, WTF" and just sit back and watch the train wreck, waiting to see if it implodes into a self-sucking black hole, hoping it doesn't fuck up nearby nations in the process.

        I find it deplorable that search engines, corps and entire governments bend over to China's economic might and implement/look over things that are unjustifiable by any modern notion of morality. But social reform is not their job or duty - that's the people's. The onus is eventually on them.

        One could argue that knowledge is power, and that by removing search access to them you deprive them of the ability to fight for freedom. But the Chinese as a whole aren't some tiny tinie minority fighting for survival with bows and arrows. They have always proved themselves resourceful, and at some point they need to take responsibility for their own destiny.

        Their freedom is not dependent on western search engines or corporations choosing to fight a moral fight that is not their own and for which they are not capable of even dreaming to win. Freedom, freedom in the modern sense of the world as people in the developed world knows, that depends on them, the Chinese people.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          It'd be nice to see them finally get the fuck up as a modern, democratic (or at least humane in the modern sense) nation, but there is a point that you just go "agh, WTF" and just sit back and watch the train wreck, waiting to see if it implodes into a self-sucking black hole, hoping it doesn't fuck up nearby nations in the process.

          Boy, aren't you going to be surprised when it's the West that implodes first. We are hurtling towards authoritarianism a lot quicker than they are approaching freedom. That they

    • by RyoShin (610051)

      The difference here is that Bing is going above and beyond the "call of duty". Google et al., as I understand it, filters only on their Chinese version (like google.cn). Bing is extending this so that any search done with Chinese characters is filtered.

      This doesn't make Google et al. any less complacent or "evil" for doing so, but it does show that Bing/Microsoft is quite happy to throw away freedom of speech outside of the required areas, and is thus more evil for it. (Of course, according to /. Microsof

    • Re:Chinese (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2009 @10:10AM (#30184328)

      I am home-staying with a Chinese family, and they are generally very nice. They are a well educated, well-to-do family, both parents having lived and worked in Japan for at least a decade, and are currently working in Australia.

      However, in the few political discussions I have had with them (which I really don't want to get drawn into, for obvious reasons that I am Taiwanese, anti-Chinese Communist Party, anti-KMT, and me being their tenant an'all :-P) they seem to have a very warped view on having democracy in China (with hints that it applies to all Asian countries too!). It seems that they like the idea of democracy, but insists that it simply would not work in China because of greed and corruption, not in the top echelons of government, but instead at the lower levels where, according to them, it is apparantely impossible to control. Their view is that the democracy that exists in Taiwan is a shambles, almost as if they see it as a farcical show.

      However - this is a family that has emigrated and enjoyed the freedom of Japan, and Australia (eg they have two kids!!). So, what seems to be weird about their thoughts are:

      1. They are quietly proud of themselves being of Chinese heritage (well actually that can be said of most nationalities)
              - but they choose to live anywhere but China, yes I heard them say they'd much rather be in Oz or Japan than China.

      2. They quietly want the respect and admiration of the westerners/foreigners (again, who doesn't like that) to the extent they'll show that they are educated enough to agree that democracy is a Good Thing(TM)
              - but they criticise the free and democratic Taiwan. They insisting that Taiwan is part of China, common cultures etc blah... but that Taiwan's democracy must be a joke, they should not follow suit because China does not work that way. How in the world can they possibly expect respect when they choose the bad thing while *knowing* that it is bad, for the 'practical' reason namely that Chinese people are too corrupt? Am I alone in thinking that it must cause them some pain to think like this? not being able to hold your head up high the very moment the topic of politics come up in polite company - "oh that lofty idea, its good, but Chinese people can't do it, but don't you dare insult us and can we has some respect plz!"

      I suspect the reason that they still have these views despite having lived abroad for so long may partly be helped by the internet. I have noticed that they get their dose of news from Chinese media, and not the western outlets (well the parents do - I hope the kids will not be subjected to too much of this biased, ultra-nationalist reporting). It is sad to see that the stranglehold of the CCP is so strong though.

      In relation to your post - no I do not to expect the Chinese will fix the problem of filtering themselves anytime soon, there are plenty who are fine with what seems to be contradicting thoughts that their government feeds them through their monstrously powerful media.

  • by reporter (666905) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:29AM (#30183156) Homepage
    The reporter at the "New York Times" completely misses the big picture. If Bing is censoring only simplified Chinese queries, then anyone in mainland China can do a search in any other language and obtain the full uncensored results.

    In other words, Microsoft has cleverly created a big hole (in its agreement with Beijing) that allows uncensored information to flood into China. The only catch is that the query must be in some language (e. g., English) that is not simplied Chinese.

    By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

    Besides, Microsoft's scheme will encourage ordinary Chinese to learn a foreign language: English., Japanese, etc. Doing so is always positive as many Western languages means many channels by which foreign ideas can enter China, thus modernizing it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 1s44c (552956)

      The reporter at the "New York Times" completely misses the big picture. If Bing is censoring only simplified Chinese queries, then anyone in mainland China can do a search in any other language and obtain the full uncensored results.

      In other words, Microsoft has cleverly created a big hole (in its agreement with Beijing) that allows uncensored information to flood into China. The only catch is that the query must be in some language (e. g., English) that is not simplied Chinese.

      By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

      Besides, Microsoft's scheme will encourage ordinary Chinese to learn a foreign language: English., Japanese, etc. Doing so is always positive as many Western languages means many channels by which foreign ideas can enter China, thus modernizing it.

      More likely google tried to do the wrong thing because they had to and succeeded. Microsoft tried to do the wrong thing because they had to and messed it up.

      We have seen the results of Microsoft's work and Google's work. Google is an innovative technology company, Microsoft are a bunch of clowns with an innovative and sometimes illegal marketing strategy.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Lets see you write an operating system and an Office suite with programs like Excel. ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by oDDmON oUT (231200)

          Why? Couldn't he just buy one [wikipedia.org], like Bill did in the first place?

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            OP: Microsoft are a bunch of clowns who can't create decent products. Me: Lets see you produce something better than Windows 7 or Excel, or even remotely close to that. You: Three decades ago, Microsoft bought an OS.

            I fail to see the logical sequence here. If you're just trying to find ways to put the credit for any good points of MS products onto others, rather than give it to them, then you could at least show some more up to date knowledge and refer to Windows NT which built its networking capabiliti
            • Correction:
              OP: Lets see you write an operating system and an Office suite with programs like Excel. ;)

              OP said nothing about Windows 7, and Office was created for the Apple Mac [wikipedia.org], as was Excel [wikipedia.org], long before there was a version for Windows.

              My comment was meant to meant to show several things:

              • The mendacity of MS marketing, and as such doesn't demonstrate a lack of "more up to date knowledge", any more than your "I see Apple as merely Saruman to MS's Mordor. They don't want to overthrow MS, they want to be MS" s
        • The current state of Windows is dependent on the vast oceans of money that derive from Microsoft's heinous business practices during the era of MS-DOS when they had a clearly inferior product.

          So indeed the comment the MS bought their first OS is very relevant. Their entry into the business and subsequent donimance has little or nothing to do with their current products.

    • by Imrik (148191)

      The searchers will still be unable to visit most of the links returned by the English search, the only real difference would be that you could read the summaries.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hengdi (1202709)

      By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

      Not true. I live in China, and can easily find info on Tiananmen square, I just have to use google.com and not google.cn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I see your point. But think about this: if Google or Bing were filtering English language results at the request of the American government, would you be happy to swap over to Mandarin?

  • by pedantic bore (740196) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:42AM (#30183204)

    Gasp!

    Once we're boycotting all the search engines that have caved into to the demands of the Chinese government, what search engines are left?

    • by AnotherUsername (966110) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:38AM (#30183380)
      While I realize that this is very ideological of myself, but why don't the various search engines just tell China to fuck off? I mean, why does the rest of the world put up with China's bullshit? Whether it is economic warfare on the rest of the world by artificially devaluing its currency, to their lack of basic human rights, to the fact that without a basic freedom to read opposing views, nothing is due to change anytime in the near future, China is a problem to everyone else.

      By the way, I do realize that one of the main reasons that the search engines are not telling China to fuck off is pure and simple: money. There is a lot of ad revenue to be had by companies like Google and Bing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BhaKi (1316335)

      Once we're boycotting all the search engines that have caved into to the demands of the Chinese government, what search engines are left?

      If you think that very few search engines would be left, then there's a better strategy for you: Instead of boycotting search engines, boycott Chinese products. That's what your government wants to achieve by flooding media with anti-China news. The sooner you boycott Chinese products, the sooner I get back a shit-free Slashdot. Oh, wait! What have I been thinking? After boycotting Chinese products, there will be news flood about some other country.

      • by tepples (727027)

        boycott Chinese products

        The United States has outsourced so much of its manufacturing to Chinese firms that in 2009, the Amish are almost the only group who can pull off a boycott of products made in China.

      • by phiwum (319633)

        You think that the American gov't produces anti-China news stories? And they do this because they're pissed that China sells too many products here?

        Gotta say, it's a cute theory. Thoroughly unencumbered by facts, but darling nonetheless.

    • baudea.
      That is pushed and controlled by the Chinese gov. in the same way that Pravda is pushed and owned by Russia, or Fox News is pushed and owned by the republican party.
  • hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by the_other_one (178565) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @05:42AM (#30183206) Homepage
    I have been self censoring my bing english language querys.
  • by seshomaru samma (1683366) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @06:43AM (#30183396)
    In China you can easily switch to google.com and get the same results as the rest if the world. You can search google.com in Chinese. Bing does not allow you this luxury if you are from China. It switches to English and changes the background picture but gives you the same Chinese government results if it knows your IP is from China. BTW- Chinese people know about Tiananmen They have satellite dishes with Taiwanese channels that spend 50% of their air time criticizing the mainland (the other 50% is sex and celebrities)
  • Is it legal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pmontra (738736)
    Can they censor queries made by American citizens using a simplified chinese keyboard in the USA?
    • by h00manist (800926)
      That would problably be an excellent ground to start challenging these policies. Since many of these censorship results are visible in many countries, all kinds of people can mount a legal challenge against Chinese censorship from home. Plus, all the media and legal content abount censorship in china will have to be censored in china. Slowly the whole internet will be censored...
  • For Freedom Day (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Saturday November 21, 2009 @08:26AM (#30183722) Homepage Journal

    I've been on the fence about listening to China, but no more. I conclude that the American idea of freedom, the American revolution, is an ongoing experiment and must apply everywhere in the world. We Americans by nature are assholes, so we may as well do something productive with it. We are obligated to participate, to be subversive to tyranny or even tendencies towards it, everywhere we go and we must be that way at home.

    American companies operate because they are granted license to by the people of the united states as a whole.

    At home, nor abroad, can we tolerate any government that violates any fundamental liberty. Even if we cannot agree on what fundamental liberties all, we must be dedicated to the idea that the more liberties that we uphold, the more we have. We forget that freedom is so sacred as of late, and we listen too much to those who would say that we have freedom too much.

    I say that we say that for right now today is Freedom Day. Take a second to glance at the Constitution and understand that the government is allowed to do only what is on that little piece of paper and you are allowed to do everything else. Write whatever you want, go to a gun store, read something subversive, stop by a church, hang with some protestors, revel in the fact that you are free and can do things. Even as we bum out about how the west has gotten the short of the stick in manufacturing, we should be extremely cognizant that we can do so many things our counterparts in China and other parts Asia cannot, I can take my made in Chinese flag and I can burn it.

    Today is Freedom Day, and so is every day. Remind yourself that you are free.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)

      As assholes, Americans should be very careful of all the people out there that are dicks.

    • We Americans by nature are assholes, so we may as well do something productive with it.

      Yes, let's put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional". :)

  • by John Guilt (464909) on Saturday November 21, 2009 @08:38AM (#30183782)
    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=%E8%A5%BF%E8%97%8F%E6%8A%91%E5%88%B6%E9%9F%A9&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&fp=5b7cf21b103219ea [google.com] ...returns >1.4M results http://www.bing.com/search?q=%E8%A5%BF%E8%97%8F%E6%8A%91%E5%88%B6%E9%9F%A9&go=&form=QBLH&qs=n [bing.com] ...returns Sweet Fanny Adams Yes, the Chinese Google site is as bad, but at least a Chinese user can potentially hit an external Google site with one tunnel/proxy or another. (Note: I'm not a terrible bigot, though I'm probably as bigoted as average: I do not blame all Han Chinese for the oppression of the Tibetan people, and of course there are some Han willing to risk extreme punishment to help them; however, one of the ways Tibetans are being oppressed is by the massive settlement of the country by Han Chinese, and beside I wanted as inflammatory a non-obscene word-set as I could for the experiment.)
  • and Google is no better than Bing.

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