Microsoft/Bing Tiananmen Square Tank Man 'censorship'

June 2021

Bing search engine users in the UK, US, Singapore and other countries have been 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.

The users tried to find the image on the 32nd anniversary of the protests, prompting accusations of censorship. Microsoft has blamed the omission on 'accidental human error'.

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