Microsoft refutes censorship of Chinese searches

Microsoft refutes censorship of Chinese searches

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US-based software giant Microsoft refuted on February 12, 2014 that it was censoring websites from its Bing search engine results for international users. The statement came from the software company after a Chinese rights group stated that Microsoft was censoring material which the government considers to be politically sensitive.

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Greatfire.org – the China-based freedom of speech advocacy group – in a statement said that Bing was filtering out English, as well as Chinese language search results for certain terms, like ‘Dalai Lama’. The US-based company – while responding to the rights group’s latest allegations – explained that a system fault had deleted certain search results for those users who are located outside of China.

In the past, the company has been criticized for censoring the Chinese version of Skype. Stefan Weitz, the senior director for Bing said, “Due to an error in our system, we triggered an incorrect results removal notification for some searches noted in the report but the results themselves are and were unaltered outside of China”. However, he did not reveal if the error had been fixed and officials from Microsoft in Beijing refused to give any further information.

A shortened version of the statement has been sent by Microsoft to the China-based media organizations which declined all reference to GreatFire.org and did not address these allegations.

Photo Credits: Live Mint