All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Microsoft's Bing adds child abuse pop-up search warnings

29 Jul 2013
A screen shot of Microsoft's search engine Bing

Microsoft's search service Bing has become the first to introduce warning messages for child abuse-related searches. This comes after UK prime minister David Cameron requested last week that search engines take stronger action to prevent people accessing illegal images.

According to Microsoft, users whose searches "can only indicate they are looking for illegal child abuse content" will receive a pop-up notification stating:

Child abuse material is illegal."

The user is then given a link to the website of charity Stop it Now, which provides help and advice for victims of sexual abuse and those who are concerned about their own behaviour.

Microsoft said that the new warning was just a part of their attempts to prevent the sharing of child abuse images on its search platform. "If someone in the UK tries to use search terms on Bing which can only indicate they are looking for illegal child abuse content, they will activate the Bing Notification Platform, which will produce an on-screen notification telling them that child abuse content is illegal. The notification will also contain a link to which will be able to provide them with counselling," it said.

"We have teams dedicated globally to abuse reporting on our services and the development of new innovations to combat child exploitation more broadly."

Bing accounts for around five percent of UK search traffic. Google, meanwhile, which accounts for almost 90 percent of searches in the UK, has no such warning in place. In reaction to the news, Google said: "Child abuse imagery is illegal and we have a zero tolerance policy to it.

"We use purpose built technology and work with child safety organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation to find, remove and report it, because we never want this material to appear in our search results. We are working with experts on effective ways to deter anyone tempted to look for this sickening material." The firm did not say if they would be adding their own warning messages.

David Cameron has also urged UK ISPs to provide better blocking of illegal material, as well as providing "default-on" web filters to protect children from legal but "inappropriate" material. While all of the UK's major ISPs agreed to the proposals, web freedom campaigners called Cameron's ideas "misleading" and "technologically illiterate".

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Michael Passingham

Michael Passingham joined V3 as a reporter in June 2013. Prior to working at V3, Michael spent time at computing magazine PC Pro. Michael covers IT skills, social media, tech startups and also produces V3's video content.

View Michael's Google+ profile

More on Search
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Work location poll - office, remote or home?

Where do you spend most time working on your primary work device?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
LG G Flex 2 hands-on review

CES 2015: LG G Flex 2 video

A closer look at LG's latest curved-screen smartphone

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Beacon technology: what are the opportunities and how does the technology work?

This paper seeks to provide education and technical insight to beacons, in addition to providing insight to Apple's iBeacon specification


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

CRM System Officers

At the University of Derby, people are at the heart of...

HTML Email Developer

At the University of Derby, people are at the heart of...

Business Intelligence Analyst

Citywire is a global publishing company with offices...

CRM System Support & Development Manager

At the University of Derby, people are at the heart of...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.