Microsoft blamed unintentional human error for not posting a photo of the Tankman during the Tiananmen Square incident


Microsoft on Friday blamed it on “unexpected human error.” After users expressed concerns about possible censorship around the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, its Bing search engine did not return the results of searching for “tank men” in the United States and elsewhere.

Britain, Germany, and Singapore reported on Friday that when they conducted a search, Bing returned a message: “No results were found for the person in the tank.” David Green, director of civil liberties for the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said content review Is impossible. To do this perfectly, “You always make serious mistakes.” 

But he said it could be even more sinister: “The worst case is that this is a deliberate suppression at the request of a powerful country.” Microsoft admitted. A few hours after the problem, the “tank man” search only returned images of tanks in other parts of the world. China. The men square during the pro-democracy demonstration in June 1989. 

Microsoft stated that this problem was caused by “unexpected human error, and we are actively working to resolve it.” Smaller search engines, such as DuckDuckGo, are also facing similar “tank man” issues with Microsoft’s licensing results and said they hope to fix it soon. When competitor Google searched for “tank man” on Friday, it returned a large number of results for this famous image. 

According to a former employee, a large portion of Microsoft employees working for Bing are in China, including some employees who work in image recognition software. As we all know, China requires search engines operating within its jurisdiction to review the results, but these restrictions are rarely implemented elsewhere.

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