You may find it difficult to find people who are considered politically sensitive in China if you use Bing – even if you are in the United States. The Civic Laboratory, a research laboratory based at the Munk School at the University of Toronto, has analyzed Bing’s auto-suggestion system also found that the names of Chinese party leaders and dissidents do not appear automatically as they usually do when you start writing. They are apparently the second largest category of names censored by autosuggest, to names related to pornography and erotica.

The lab found that censorship applied to names entered in Chinese and English letters. It also affects not only Bing, but also the Start menu search for Windows and DuckDuckGo, which uses Bing’s automatic suggestion system. Perhaps more importantly, it applies to different regions of the world, including China, the United States and Canada. Some of the best-known examples of names that Microsoft will not automatically fill in are President Xi Jinping, human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, and Tank, the nickname of the unidentified Chinese man who famously stood in front of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square.

Last year, Microsoft caught fire after reports emerged that it was blocking Tank Man’s demand in countries that include the United States, France and Singapore. Microsoft attributes it to “accidental human error” when dealing with the problem. Jeffrey Nokel, a senior fellow at Citizen Lab, called censorship rules moving from one part of the world to another a “danger” when Internet platforms have users around the world. The Wall Street Journal reports. He added: “If Microsoft had never been involved in Chinese censorship in the first place, there would have been no way to spread it to other regions.”

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