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Microsoft Bing Gets Naughty as Porn Theater

While Microsoft is looking to capture a piece of the search market pie with its recently launched Bing service, the company has taken quite a bit of heat over its "porn theater" aspect.

Internet users who have already tested the "decision" engine's video waters have undoubtedly discovered Bing's ability to instantly play video clips simply by hovering the cursor over the posted thumbnail. The feature is certainly cool to say the least, granting immediate access to music videos, television shows, movies, and even some of the Internet's greatest assets, video porn.

According to InformationWeek, China and certain Muslim countries have already disabled the instant-play function, however Microsoft has pointed out that Bing already features a tool that enables end-users the ability to turn off offensive material. Like Yahoo to some degree, the SafeSearch setting will limit searches based on a pre-set filter: strict, moderate, or off. The strict filter will weed out sexually explicit content at a much greater extent than the moderate filter; the latter could be for those part-time porn lovers while the former strict setting could be used for children and grandpa with a bad heart. With the filter set to off, end-users are greeted with a "wall of porn" rivaling other websites with on-demand naughtiness.

Bing general manager Mike Nichols took notice of the complaints surrounding the engine's erotic results and claims that Bing doesn't return explicit adult video or image results by default; the same holds true with web results. "This is a bit more of a conservative approach than others in the industry," he said in a recent blog. "If you set SafeSearch to strict, you will not see any explicit text, image, or video content. If you turn SafeSearch off, which requires you to change the setting and then click again to acknowledge that you are over 18, then explicit content may appear."

Unfortunately, outside the safe search setting, Bing doesn't offer any sort limitations that could keep children from turning off the filter (as in a required username and password). However, the company is working on a tool for network managers so that SafeSearch can be enforced on a network level, serving as a part of its commitment to offer more control to end-users. Until then, Nichols offered a temporary fix. "So for right now, we wanted to let people know that you can add “&adlt=strict” to the end of a query and no matter what the settings are for that session, it will return results as if safe search was set to strict," he said.

Nichols also added that Microsoft might include additional tools to filter out explicit sexual content later in the future, however the company assures end-users that the current SafeSearch settings are solid. "But at Microsoft we are always working on pushing this stuff farther," he said.

  • tenor77
    Okay so don't use bing at work
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    at least microsoft knows how to pander to it's core constituency...
    Reply
  • nelson_nel
    this is stupid media spin bs. google images does this too but you don't hover the cursor and get an animation. big deal. oh wait, it IS a big deal because MS did it. give me a break...
    Reply
  • chaohsiangchen
    Commies and those who have too many wives and concubines need to learn the essence of MYOB and stay out of other people's private lives.
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    nelson_nelthis is stupid media spin bs. google images does this too but you don't hover the cursor and get an animation. big deal. oh wait, it IS a big deal because MS did it. give me a break...
    eh.. no one cares who else does it or if they do it better... that's not the point of this.. they're merely stating that IT IS POSSIBLE to do it and that their measures to stop it, for 'parents and old people' are token at best.

    chaohsiangchenCommies and those who have too many wives and concubines need to learn the essence of MYOB and stay out of other people's private lives.
    wot does that even mean?
    Reply
  • sandmanwn
    non-story. you have to disable the filters to even get the porn content. you can do the same on every other search engine without usernames and passwords. the focus should not be microsoft but the industry as a whole, and particularly google who has the majority of the market.
    Reply
  • tayb
    This is really really shoddy reporting.

    Safe searching is enabled by default and you must go to the settings, disable it, and then click that you are over 18 for this to ever be a problem. You can't go to bing.com right now for the first time and get a porn video popping up and whoever wrote this article should have known that before posting this. Not to mention that google doesn't require you to click to verify you are 18.

    Beyond that Microsoft isn't the only search engine to return porn results and it is probably MUCH, MUCH better at not returning porn results than the competition. Type in "facial" on bing you get pictures of a spa but go ahead and try to type the same thing into google image search and see what you get.
    Reply
  • DXRick
    I can see the headlines now.....

    Bing Causing Boners Nationwide!
    Reply
  • zerapio
    taybType in "facial" on bing you get pictures of a spa but go ahead and try to type the same thing into google image search and see what you get.:D
    Reply
  • fuser
    nelson_nelthis is stupid media spin bs. google images does this too but you don't hover the cursor and get an animation. big deal. oh wait, it IS a big deal because MS did it. give me a break...This article isn't talking about image search. It's talking about video search. Google's video search does not auto-play videos when you hover over the thumbnail (unless it's some advanced setting that I can't find?).
    Reply