RealTime IT News

Microsoft's Bing Dinged for Porn Access

Bing, Microsoft's new search engine may be too good at connecting users with content. That's the contention of InternetSafety.com, the company that offers the SafeEyes Internet filtering tool.

In a blog post, InternetSafety.com warned that without an Internet filtering tool installed, Bing facilitates access to porn by prompting users to turn off its "safe search" function when a search returns explicit adult content. The company also notes that Bing gives users the capability to play videos by simply rolling over thumbnails in results leaving no URL trail for parents to monitor.

"You could watch hours of porn within Bing without going to a porn site," Stanley Holditch, a marketing manager at InternetSafety.com, told . "Bing does a lot of things really well, which is kind of the problem here. It's not that other search engines don't help you find porn, but you don't expect a search engine from Microsoft to be a portal to pornography."

Holditch noted that on Google, by contrast, the default filtering is Moderate SafeSearch and "you have to look a bit to adjust those settings." Unlike Bing, Google doesn't prompt users to change settings.

"I think the issue here is that parents need to install filtering software if they want to be sure their kids aren't looking at porn," said Larry Magid, co-director of ConnectSafely.org and founder of SafeKids.com.

InternetSafety.com's claims SafeEyes will block Bing video previews and scores of other such filtering services claim to block so-called adult content.

"At the end of the day, it's up to parents to protect their kids," Magid told InternetNews.com. "While Bing is problematic, it's far from the only way kids can access porn."

Magid added he expects Microsoft to address the issue.

Microsoft did not return a request for comment by press time.