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Microsoft Bing blocks Tiananmen ‘tank man’

Microsoft blocks Bing from showing image results for Tiananmen ‘tank man’

Microsoft has blamed human error after its search engine, Bing, blocked image and video results for the phrase “tank man” – a reference to the iconic image of a lone protester facing down tanks during the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square – on the 32nd anniversary of the military crackdown.

Users reported that no results were shown for the search query in countries including the US, Germany, Singapore, France and Switzerland, according to Reuters and Vice News.

References to the pro-democracy protest movement have long been censored in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where the government maintains strict control over the internet, but the censorship by Bing extended to users outside China’s “great firewall”.

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Microsoft said the issue was “due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this”.

Smaller search engines such as DuckDuckGo that license results from Microsoft faced similar issues around “tank man” searches and said they expected a fix soon.


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