Microsoft accused of censoring Tiananmen Square 'tank man'

Occurred: June 1989

Microsoft came under fire for allegedly stopping users in some countries from viewing China's 'tank man'.

Users of the technology company's Bing search engine in the UK, US, Singapore and other countries were unable to view image search results for the query 'tank man'.

The phrase describes the lone protester standing before tanks during China's Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989, and the block coincided with  the 32nd anniversary of the protests. 

The incident prompted accusations of censorship; Microsoft blamed the omission on 'accidental human error'.

System 🤖

Operator: Microsoft
Developer: Microsoft
Country: China
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Rank content/search results
Technology: Search engine algorithm
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance; Black box

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: June 2021