Microsoft recently added a new layer of complexity to the ongoing debate regarding the filtering and censorship practices of U.S. search engines via its own search engine, Bing. ONI testing reveals liberal filtering by Bing in one of the most censored regions in the world: the Arab countries.
Microsoft’s Bing, which tailors its search engine to serve different countries and regions and offers its services in 41 languages, has a filtering system at the keyword level for users in several countries. Users in the Arab countries—or, as termed by Microsoft—“Arabian countries”—are prevented from conducting certain search queries in both English and Arabic.
ONI testing reveals that Microsoft filters Arabic and English keywords that could yield sex- or LGBT-related images and content.