Bing to Warn Child Porn Searchers; Google Won’t

A report from the BBC says that Bing has added pop-up alerts to certain searches related to child pornography.  The alerts warn that the type of content they are searching for is illegal.  Microsoft told the BBC that the notifications are designed, “to stop those who may be drifting towards trying to find illegal child abuse content on the web via search engines.  This is in addition to Microsoft’s existing and longstanding policy of removing any verified links to illegal content of this sort from Bing as quickly as possible.”

The UK’s prime minister has recently criticized Google, Bing and Yahoo over not doing enough to stop the spread of child pornography on the internet.  While Bing has made these changes, Google rejected the idea of using warnings and said, “We use purpose-built technology and work with child safety organizations to find, remove and report child abuse imagery, because we never want this material to appear in our search results.”

How effective the pop-up message from Bing will be is going to be very hard to determine since it is difficult to study the activities of those engaging in illegal activity.  It seems, however, that if it even stops one person from viewing this type of material, and potentially going on to abuse children, than it is worth it.  In addition, since the pop-up is only triggered by very specific searches done on the Bing network, it won’t be interfering with the normal search activities of users.

These pop-up warnings are currently only on the UK version of Bing’s properties, and whether or not they will be moving to US and other versions has not been announced.  It seems likely, however, that this will be rolled out globally in the future.

What do you think?  Personally, I say good for Bing.  It is a small thing, but it is definitely the right move.  Hopefully they will do more to stop child porn wherever possible.

You can see the report from the BBC HERE, the report about Google not participating HERE, and the report concerning the prime minister’s attacks on the search engines regarding child porn HERE.

 

What's your opinion?