Microsoft Bing censored image searches related to the Tiananmen Square massacre on its 32nd anniversary – even for US users

Microsoft-owned search engine Bing was displaying no image search results for "tank man," a reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Microsoft-owned search engine Bing was displaying no image search results for “tank man,” a reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

  • 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 Bing showed users pictures of Tiananmen Square's "Gate of Heavenly Peace," while Google showed the infamous image of a protestor in front of Chinese tanks.
Microsoft Bing showed users pictures of Tiananmen Square’s “Gate of Heavenly Peace,” while Google showed the infamous image of a protestor in front of Chinese tanks.

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….

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Photos show Hong Kong marking the Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary before and after China imposed a security law which censored protests

Hong Kong's Victoria Square on June 4, 2019, left, and June 4, 2021, right.
Hong Kong’s Victoria Square on June 4, 2019, left, and June 4, 2021, right.

  • Hong Kong police have stamped out vigils to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
  • Photos show how Victoria Park, where demonstrators have gathered for years, has been closed down.
  • A new national security law is suppressing the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hong Kong blocked demonstrators from entering a park on Friday where thousands of people annually gather to commemorate China’s 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

The gathering in Victoria Park has been held annually since 1990 to remember the 1989 crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where pro-democracy protesters were killed by Chinese troops.

Last year’s demonstration was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but photos show a stark difference between Friday’s empty park and 2019’s vigil.

This year’s vigil was the first to be held since Beijing enacted a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that has been used to censor pro-democracy activity. Hong Kong police have arrested pro-democracy activists and are targeting peaceful protests, according to The New York Times.

Read the original article on Business Insider