Tech Microsoft tackles ‘horrifying’ Bing search results Published 2 months ago on October 11, 2018 By Jamie Hendricks Share Tweet Image copyright Microsoft Image caption Microsoft’s search engine has been suggesting people visit racist sites Microsoft has “taken action” to change its Bing search engine after it was found to give “horrifying” results for some terms. Journalist Chris Hoffman discovered Bing suggested racist topics when he looked up words such as “Jews”, “Muslims” and “black people”. Bing also ranked widely debunked conspiracy theories among the top suggestions for other words. Mr Hoffman said Microsoft had to do better at moderating its search system. Deeper look In his investigation, Mr Hoffman looked up racially-themed terms and found that the majority of suggestions for further searches that accompanied results pointed people to racist sites or images. Racist memes and images were also returned for many of the words he tried. “We all know this garbage exists on the web, but Bing shouldn’t be leading people to it with their search suggestions,” wrote Mr Hoffman. It is believed that the suggestions for further searches connected to these terms have emerged from a combination of user activity and concerted action by far-right groups to skew responses. Mr Hoffman also found “disgusting” results when searching for images of young girls with Bing’s safety filters turned off. The racial examples are similar to those found in 2016 by Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr, when she used the Google search engine to look up facts about the Holocaust. Image copyright AFP Image caption Google faced criticism for how some search results – on topics such as the Holocaust and ethnic minorities – were ranked Ms Cadwalladr found that results for “did the Holocaust happen?” were dominated by pages denying it took place that had been created by white supremacist site Stormfront. In response to Mr Hoffman’s findings, Jeff Jones, a senior director at Microsoft, said: “We take matters of offensive content very seriously and continue to enhance our systems to identify and prevent such content from appearing as a suggested search. “As soon as we become aware of an issue, we take action to address it,” he added. The BBC repeated some of the searches carried out by Mr Hoffman and found that the results returned contained far fewer responses that pointed people towards overtly racist sites or images. Bing has about a 24% share of the search engine market in the US, second to Google at 63%, suggest figures from analyst firm Statista. In the UK, Bing is used in 12% of all searches. Credit:BBC Share this:Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window) Related Related Topics: Up Next Microsoft cracks the top 5 U.S. PC vendors, but Intel CPU shortages could bring more change Don't Miss Google’s Pixel 3 XL notch ‘fix’ is dumb and you should just buy a regular Pixel 3 instead Continue Reading You may like Follow Us On Flipboard Magazine. Latest U.S. Politics23 mins ago Meghan Markle vowed to live ‘less stifled’ life before dating Prince Harry Not long before she met Prince Harry, Meghan Markle vowed to live a “life less stifled” and to “take a... Sports33 mins ago Former Juve sporting director Marotta takes over at Inter Milan Giuseppe Marotta arrives to attend the draw for UEFA Champions League at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Giuseppe Marotta has... World35 mins ago Constantinople was unwise to antagonize Moscow, leading Orthodox theologian says The Patriarch of Constantinople was wrong to declare Ukraine no longer subject to the Russian Orthodox Church as the conflict... Business52 mins ago Data Sheet—These Bleak Times for Global Tech Companies Jobs for everyone. After a grueling public process involving bids from over 200 cities…oh, wait, no. Apple skipped all that... World1 hour ago Ian Naude: Cheshire PC jailed for raping 13-year-old girl Image copyright Cheshire Police Image caption Ian Naude was being investigated for sex offences when he became a student officer... Most Read Tech1 week ago YouTube top earners: The seven-year-old making $22m Sports7 days ago Maurizio Sarri is steering Chelsea away from top four for second year running unless these changes are made, says Adrian Durham Sports7 days ago Who are the two best central defenders in the world?