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June 4, 2021 was the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests in Hong Kong.
Naturally, more people than usual would look up pictures from the 1989 protests on that day. And, of course, the most infamous photos from Tiananmen Square are that of “tank man,” a single Chinese man — who is still unidentified to this day — that stood in the way of Chinese military tanks cracking down on the protests.
If users in the U.S. tried to search “tank man,” on Google Images, this is what they’d see:
However, if they attempted an image search on Microsoft Bing, they would have seen a very different results page:
“There are no results for tank man,” read the Bing results.
We know that China censors what happened at Tiananmen Square and specifically the tank man himself. While the anniversary is still usually commemorated in Hong Kong, Chinese officials banned a vigil in 2021, arresting organizers, and even blocking access to the park.
But, again, these image results or lack thereof were showing up for users outside the country too.
Other U.S. users reported that images did show up in Bing searches for “tank man.” However, the photos weren’t of the act of defiance. They were just generic photos of military tanks.
UK users reported that they were having the same issues with Bing image searches for “tank man,” too.
In addition to Bing, image results on other popular search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Yahoo were affected. That’s because both search platforms use Bing for their results.
According to Microsoft, this wasn’t purposeful censorship. It was a bug.
“This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this,” the company said.
The image results page for “tank man” appears to now be fixed with the appropriate images of the protest act showing up.
ที่มา : Mashable