Google and Yahoo have long been lambasted for the censorship policies they employ in China to appease the CCP, particularly when Yahoo handed over email information to party officials in order to convict a Chinese journalist. Now critics have shifted their attention to Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
The site has been accused of sanitizing results – any searches in simplified Chinese are censored, not only in China but in the rest of the world as well. Microsoft first alleged that this was a glitch that has since been fixed, but now admits that it was a result of programmed search algorithms.
Funnily enough, Bing’s not the only web app that’s been hit with disapproval over its censorship collaboration policies. Just recently, alternative browser Opera has also been accused of kowtowing to the regime.
According to prolific China twitterer @mranti and Shanghai-based technology researcher Carsten Ullrich, Opera used to be a browser you could use to bypass the Great Firewall, since traffic runs over the company’s servers. Not anymore. Now users in this country are greeted by a screen welcoming them to download a special China version. What adds insult to injury, at least according to Ullrich is:
…You don’t even dare to admit it? No press release, no posting in a blog about that you are now blocking usage of the international version to your Chinese usage.
And the worst thing: you even pretend that this is a good thing! You dare to say that this was done for “better browsing experience”. Bah, disgusting.
Indeed. We never really used Bing or Opera in the first place, but in light of these developments we highly doubt we’ll be using it in the future.