While several nice things have been written about Microsoft's new Bing search engine, including by his NYT colleague David Pogue, op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof does not agree. In a scathing Friday blog post, Kristof accuses MSFT of tailoring Chinese-language search queries in Bing to censor sensitive topics like the Dalai Lama, Tiananmen Square, and Falun Gong.
Kristof writes that Microsoft's explanation, a software bug, "insults my intelligence and yours." He continues, "My hunch is that Microsoft simply has decided at a top level that it will compromise what principles it must to ingratiate itself with China." And further, "Now Microsoft is sacrificing the integrity of Bing searches so as to cozy up to State Security in Beijing. In effect, it has chosen become part of the Communist Party's propaganda apparatus."