Microsoft Tackles ‘Horrifying’ Bing Search Results (bbc.com)

Microsoft has “taken action” to change its Bing search engine after it was found to give “horrifying” results for some terms. From a report: 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. 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. […] 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.”

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