Bing Porn Problem Resolved
Update 2: Microsoft further addressed the issue, as explained in a recent blog post. Bing General Manager Mike Nichols says:
First, potentially explicit images and video content will now be coming from a separate single domain, explicit.bing.net. This is invisible to the end customer, but allows for filtering of that content by domain which makes it much easier for customers at all levels to block this content regardless of what the SafeSearch settings might be. This makes it much easier for filtering software to block unwanted content if SafeSearch has been turned off.
In addition, we will begin returning source url information in the query string for images and video content so that companies who already use this method of filtering will be able to catch explicit content on Bing along with everything else they are already blocking for their customers.
Update: Microsoft Bing General Manager Mike Nichols has addressed the situation in a blog post. He says:
So for right now, we wanted to let people know that you can add “adlt=strict” to the end of a query and no matter what the settings are for that session, it will return results as if safe search was set to strict. The query would look like this: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=adulttermgoeshere&adlt=strict (yes it is case sensitive).
This short term work-around should work with lots of popular firewall and safety products, as well as for larger, managed network environments.
The problem as mentioned in the original article is that the safesearch won’t return any results on a query like "sex." He does say however that they will be working on the issue further in the next couple months.
Original Aritcle: It’s no surprise that as soon as Bing is unleashed, people immediately flock to the porn. A number of reports have pointed out how easy it is to watch porn with Bing thanks to video search feature allowing you to play videos right from the SERP.
Admittedly, the video search feature is one of Bing’s strong points, aside from possible relevancy issues discussed here. The preview option is kind of cool from the user’s perspective.
From the employers’ or the parents’ perspective, it might not be so cool. As "Dinghus" mentions in a WebProWorld thread, "Notice you can ‘preview’ porn right there on the site without any age restrictions? This will probably get all the corporate firewalls blocking Bing."
"I noticed the same and came to the same conclusion," says williamc in the same thread. "Just a matter of time on the lawsuits and blocks."
If you search for something like "sex," (WARNING: LINK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT…OBVIOUSLY), Bing at least gives a disclaimer, saying you need to turn off safe search. Well, apparently there aren’t any videos regarding sex that can be viewed without digging right into the porn, because there are no visible results with safe search turned on (not even moderate).
If you opt to turn off safe search, you are greeted with yet another disclaimer:
From there, you’re free to watch as much smut as your heart desires without even leaving the page. Interestingly enough, the first result in a query for "sex" is a CNN video about the same-sex marriage battle. Apparently you can’t view this video on Bing without also gaining access to a "drunk sex orgy party."
If the screenshot had been expanded, you’d see a lot more graphic stuff.
But as I’ve said the last several times I’ve written about Bing, the search engine isn’t even supposed to be launched yet. Maybe they’ll get it all worked out in time for the Official June 3rd release. They’ve got a few hours before that.