Bing is cesspool of filth and Microsoft has just been spraying air freshener. We reported on Bing’s horrifying search suggestions back in October, and Microsoft promised to fix it. Now, a TechCrunch investigation found even worse child exploitation content.
TechCrunch had an in-depth investigation performed by a AntiToxin, an online safety company that works with Israeli authorities, and that company found large amounts of child pornography on Bing’s image search. This is especially shocking because we reported this problem months ago. Microsoft promised to fix it to fix it, but apparently Microsoft just put a few band-aids on Bing and didn’t fix the deeper problem.
We also reported horrifying racist and conspiratorial search suggestions on Bing, so the problem isn’t even just limited to child exploitation. For example, Bing suggested terms like “evil jew,” “black people are stupid,” and “Michelle Obama is a man” at the time.
Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch, explains the problem:
Illegal child exploitation imagery is easy to find on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. But even more alarming is that Bing will suggest related keywords and images that provide pedophiles with more child pornography.
…The evidence shows a massive failure on Microsoft’s part to adequately police its Bing search engine and to prevent its suggested searches and images from assisting pedophiles.
Read the full investigation report if you can stomach the horrifying details. (And please, don’t search for the search terms linked in the report, as you may be committing a crime by viewing the resulting images.)
Once again, Microsoft said this was unacceptable and promised to clean up Bing. A Microsoft spokesperson didn’t seem happy with the implication that Microsoft had messed up bad here. As that spokesperson told TechCrunch:
I sort of get the sense that you’re saying we totally screwed up here and we’ve always been bad, and that’s clearly not the case in the historic context.
But we disagree. Microsoft did screw up badly. Bing still has the same problems Microsoft promised to fix months ago.
Let’s take stock here: Microsoft is one of the most valuable companies in the world. As Josh Constine notes, it earned more than $8.8 billion in profit last quarter. Microsoft has the resources to fix this, if it wanted to.
Microsoft should shut down Bing if it doesn’t want to invest the kind of resources needed to stop its search engine from suggesting and showing child pornography.
Image Credit: Yiorgos GR/Shutterstock.com