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Microsoft's Bing and free porn
Bing may be ready to take on Google, but is it ready for children?
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he video preview feature in Bing, said Tom Krazit in CNET News, is "one of the selling points Microsoft has used to try to get momentum behind its revamped search engine." It is also, with only one click needed to disable "safe" filters, a way to watch 30 seconds of hard-core porn without visiting the linked-to adult video site. Microsoft acknowledged the issue Thursday, saying it had "tweaked" its search filters to help parents and network administrators restrict the smut.

Microsoft's solution is great, said Gavin Clarke in The Register, if you love digging around in your network settings or don't mind typing "adlt=strict" at the end of your search query—in other words, it's of little help to "the average parent or user." Microsoft explains its "stunning lack of oversight" by noting that the video preview feature helps people avoid going to the wrong site, but it's a good bet that this "embarrassing slip" is also "going to do more for Bing's fortunes" than any $100 million TV ad campaign.

Sure, the short-term fix is "fairly kludgy," said Chris Dawson in ZDNet, but give Microsoft credit for giving this "porn-in-a-portal" issue some thought. The better filters should make Bing a more viable alternative to Google for libraries and schools, but I'd still "wait a few months before encouraging too much Binging if you’re not utterly confident in your school’s content filter."

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