Microsoft cracks down on Bing searches for child porn in the U.K.

By on July 30, 2013, 7:30 AM
google, microsoft, yahoo, bing, search, blacklist, child abuse, photos, child porn

Microsoft has rolled out a new Bing feature that will alert users via pop-up message when they are attempting to search for images related to “illegal child abuse.” The warnings, which cross reference queries against a predefined blacklist of child pornography websites, will notify Bing users of the illegal activity and provide a link to counseling according to the BBC.

Microsoft is the first company in the U.K. to impellent such a warning although they might not ultimately be the only ones. Yahoo, which uses Microsoft technology for their search engine, is said to be mulling a similar strategy and a message from Prime Minister David Cameron said Google was also actively engaged in a major campaign to deter people who are searching for these types of photos.

Indeed, Microsoft’s implementation comes just after Cameron’s speech on the topic, threatening to impose new laws against ISPs if they fail to blacklist specific terms related to abusive images by October. Redmond further pointed out they already have a policy in place to remove offending content from search results as soon as possible.

A recent study by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) along with children’s charity NSPCC found that nearly half of the 300+ employees surveyed said they didn’t know how to recognize signs of online sexual abuse of children. Furthermore, roughly two-thirds said they needed more support in the war against online child pornography.

With any luck, Microsoft’s latest move will help to deter individuals from searching for illegal images, at least in the U.K. No word yet if similar actions will be taken by Microsoft (or others) in other regions.




User Comments: 7

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Since when has saying something is illegal ever deterred anyone? They should say how disturbed you are and that the authorities have been notified (even if they haven't).

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

If companies & their search engines are aware of some of these sites why do they display the link at all instead of just displaying a warning?

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

A better solution would be to show a popup box displaying the flagged search and the location of the originating IP address. "This is what you searched and here's where you are" is a more intimidating warning than "this is illegal; seek help".

1 person liked this | treetops treetops said:

Since when has saying something is illegal ever deterred anyone? They should say how disturbed you are and that the authorities have been notified (even if they haven't).

Uh every day, if it wasn't illegal I would smack anyone who said something stupid.

MilwaukeeMike said:

If companies & their search engines are aware of some of these sites why do they display the link at all instead of just displaying a warning?

The proverbial 'slippery slope'. If you censor the internet for even one thing then it opens the door to censor it for other things.

Guest said:

what is "child abuse" and websites related?

if you asks Americans they say anything under 18 and the definition says there does not need to be nudity only a level of sexuality displayed in the content and by their laws and definitions its child porn and child abuse

you can find teens under 18 and over 16 posting sexual content as normal social behavior on any social platform currently even one like tumblr that is top 10 in us and has hundreds of millions of users and is full of real industry pornography teen are exposed to and along side post their own content that is not pornography just social content without any personal gain in $$$

only one that gains from the content are the social platforms they turn the content and teens to pornography via the platform

Norgi said:

Seriously ? Do they think showing a popup that childporn is illegal is gonna help anything in "The War against online child pornograhpy" /scary buzzwords. The only thing it does is annoying the random student that has to write an essay about child abuse (hence searching for the words "child porn" or similar should not be actually illegal)

And they know it doesn't do shit, It is just an excuse to start another way to censor the web, Of course Joe Average may think over it twice if they one day get a popup saying "Using an VPN is illegal" or later "Watching *Insert random independent news site/podcast* is illegal, please only use trusted networks like Fox News"

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