Microsoft has responded to revelations that its Bing search engine is delivering racist and offensive results for terms like “jew” and “girl”.
Results with anti-Semitic and sexist content were spotted by the How to Geek wesbite, despite Bing’s standard SafeSearch setting applied.
“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,” Jeff Jones, a senior director at Microsoft, said in a statement. “As soon as we become aware of an issue, we take action to address it.”
However, lmost 24 hours after the issue was first reported, the same racist images are appearing in Bing’s image search results when searching for the term “Jews”.
Among various images of Holocaust victims and Nazis is a list of “Top Suggestions”, which includes the search term “Jew Jokes” and memes of Adolf Hitler.
A search for the term “jew” throws up similar results, including anti-Semitic depictions of Jewish people.
Searching for the term “girl” delivered sexually explicit content, although the term “boy” did not.
Similar search results are delivered by the Yahoo! search engine – which uses Bing’s search technology – however no such instances were found using Google’s search engine.
Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world, with a market share of around 90 per cent, according to Statista.
However, in recent years, both Bing and Yahoo! have made gains and currently hold a 6.5 per cent and 3 per cent market share respectively.