Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Microsoft

Bing Censoring Chinese Language Search Results For Users In the US 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-thing-americans-don't-know-foreign-languages dept.
kc123 sends this report from The Guardian: "Microsoft's search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the U.S. in the same way it filters results in mainland China. Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the U.S. for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms. These include Dalai Lama, June 4 incident (how the Chinese refer to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), Falun Gong and FreeGate, a popular internet workaround for government censorship."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bing Censoring Chinese Language Search Results For Users In the US

Comments Filter:
  • So if i'm searching from outside China but in Chinese, perhaps I'm *really* searching from within China via a VPN? Let's take no chances....

  • by Revek (133289)

    What governmental model does a corporation represent? I've always seen the corps at best as a communist state. At worst, a personality cult.

    • What governmental model does a corporation represent?

      Just look at the example of the corporation that actually ran a country [wikipedia.org], raised armies, and even waged war [wikipedia.org] in its own name.

    • What governmental model does a corporation represent?

      Not sure, but many bosses from many companies have assured me that it's "not a democracy".

    • Huh, communist? Well I guess it's a lot like how communism turned out in practice - concentrating all productivity to lavish luxury on the "politburo" while making promises of helping everyone better themselves and failing miserably at it, until the whole system collapsed under the disproportionate consumption of the politburo. Like jumping into the later stages of capitalism and then playing out the end at high speed.

      In theory, it's closest to a fascist dictatorship.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What governmental model does a corporation represent?

      Well, I would say it's mostly equivalent to Oligarchy [wikipedia.org] or Feudalism [wikipedia.org].

      Corporations seldom act like communists states because it's the people at the top who get the big money and the perks with little concern for the rest (which is how *all* states end up I guess), though if you mean the Tyranny [reference.com] bit, then maybe.

      Essentially rule by the wealthy and powerful over everyone else is what I've seen in most companies.

      And, like most despots, usually the people at the

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @10:27PM (#46225477)

    They find searches based on what people click on when they search things.

    If chinese language users in the filtered system can't see those links then they will have a lower rank if that search system is combined with the unfiltered system.

    Therefore, the real solution is to compartmentalize the two lists rather then combining them.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Yes this is quite possible. It may be that the searches are bringing up what users entering previous Chinese-language searches for similar terms eventually clicked on (i.e. what is more commonly deemed 'interesting' or 'relevant' to the users searching for those terms). English-language users would generally be interested in different results than Chinese users, and from the search engine's perspective, English and Chinese searches for the 'same thing' are two completely unrelated searches.

      Simple example. I

      • If I understand your point correctly, then it would be easy for someone bilingual in Chinese and English to test this by Googling on the same terms, once in each language. Alas, I do not understand Chinese.

        Anyone want to take that on? See if the same thing happens with Google as with Bing?

        • by jader3rd (2222716)

          If I understand your point correctly, then it would be easy for someone bilingual in Chinese and English to test this by Googling on the same terms, once in each language. Alas, I do not understand Chinese.

          Anyone want to take that on? See if the same thing happens with Google as with Bing?

          That's not quite an Apples to Apples comparison, because Google doesn't do a filter for China, and Google might be better at factoring in other language click through's than Bing is.

        • Media companies have no problem "censoring" videos from geographical regions using the IP address and a look-up table. They put the time and effort into it because they believe they can make money out of it. Bing appears to do the opposite, ie: they don't put anything into it because they believe they won't get anything out of it. Both scenarios are "unintended consequences" of allowing the accountants to run the company. Intangible value that cannot be assessed in dollar terms is simply ignored because it'
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      squints Yer not from around here, are you?
    • They find searches based on what people click on when they search things.

      If chinese language users in the filtered system can't see those links then they will have a lower rank if that search system is combined with the unfiltered system.

      Therefore, the real solution is to compartmentalize the two lists rather then combining them.

      This is a very good point. This report doesn't appear to say directly that search results are actually missing (eg. outright blocked), just that they are different. It if is just a case of different automated ranking based on user behaviour then that's another story.

    • Possibly. A lot of Chinese people, in China, are apparently offended by any reminder of the "June 4 incident." Look up what happened when Cirque du Soleil used a pic of Tank Man in a background video in one of their performances:

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/15/... [cnn.com]

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08... [nytimes.com]

      So maybe they have become their own censors and Bing gives them what they want.

    • Wasn't that a patent owned by Jeeves.com or someone? Increasing rank based on what people clicked on, thus mining the best results from empirical data?

  • Mainlanders just need to learn to search in Traditional Chinese instead of Simplified Chinese.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mickeysoft does for China and the PLA what it does for Uncle Sam and the NSA. Bend over, give them anything they want, and give them a booklet to help them help themselves, and censor whatever they want. According to Mickeysoft, the customer is very strictly the one who pays, and 'user' is not necessarily 'customer'.

  • Too many dongs.
  • by Kylon99 (2430624) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:37AM (#46226283)

    The article only gives Simplified Chinese examples, but is this happening to Traditional Chinese searches too? The two are machine translatable (except probably for one or two characters) so I would not be surprised if search engines simplified things by converting to one or the other before doing a search. So I suspect both.

    Which is kinda huge. It's not just Chinese searches from the US or any other country, what about searches from Hong Kong and Taiwan, which use Traditional? Censoring on behalf of the Communist Government in these places would seriously be looked down on.

    And what about Singapore which uses Simplified Chinese? I don't imagine they will be pleased to suffer Mainland censorship either.

    I sure hope it's just a glitch. Probably not Microsoft automatically kowtowing to China. Probably.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      And what about Singapore which uses Simplified Chinese? I don't imagine they will be pleased to suffer Mainland censorship either.

      Is it censorship or just what different people search for? After all, perhaps they're looking at travel or other things and are not interested in the incident?

      And Singapore has its own "great firewall" (in fact, a lot of countries do). It's just the Chinese one is a lot more publicized. (They were in the planning ages around 1995 or so and I think It came in a few years later).

  • by hherb (229558) <horst@dorrigome d i c a l . com> on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @03:27AM (#46226701) Homepage

    that there really might be somebody out there who is actually using BING. Never met any such creature in real life though

  • You mean Tiananmen Square MASSACRE, right?
  • Microsoft search always did this, and this has been reported before [nytimes.com]. This blog post is from 2009.
  • how the hell did they figure that out if it was written in Chinese?

  • Bing users...living in the U.S....who speak Chinese and no English. This has got to affecting a massive amount of users.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

Working...