- Microsoft search engine Bing is showing no image results to users searching “tank man.”
- The phrase references the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, where Chinese troops killed protestors.
- The apparent censorship comes as Beijing cracks down on vigils honoring those killed.
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Microsoft-owned search engine Bing was not displaying any image results to US users who searched for the term “tank man” on Friday, and appeared to be down-ranking some image searches for other terms related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Vice earlier reported that users in France, Switzerland, and the UK also saw no results when searching Bing for images of “tank man.”
Insider was able to confirm the lack of image results for US users, and also found significant discrepancies between the image results for “Tiananmen Square tank man” shown by Bing versus Google.
“This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Insider.
Microsoft’s apparent censorship came on the anniversary of the student-led protests, in which the Chinese military killed at least hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators. The phrase “tank man” refers to an infamous photo of a single protestor obstructing the path of Chinese tanks.
Beijing has recently cracked down on vigils and protests within China and Hong Kong seeking to mark the Tiananmen Square protests.
This is a developing story….