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Wed, Apr 23, 2014

Twitter: GreatFireChina Chinese spies keep eye on leading universities | retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @CDTimes: ”’We will die for freedom!’ 25 years ago today. retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @HuffPostMedia: Jill Abramson: China censorship 'made me angry' retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @jasonqng: .@FreeWeibo the # of Tan Jing 谭晶 posts you keep catching is getting ridiculous! (censored b/c alleged… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @jasonqng: Rage against machine or work w/in system? Two opposing approaches to Internet activism in China @wagiretweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @jwassers: One day until Philly #Tiananmen symposium w @limlouisa (& some other @OUPAcademic authors) register (free) @

Tue, Apr 22, 2014

Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @ReutersChina: China steps up purge of online porn amid wider censorship push retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @ael_o: Profiled China's 'Uighur Web' for Foreign Policy. Just a few thousand sites but very risky place to post: retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @Gamesinasia: China releases censorship rules for console games, and there are a lot of them - retweet

Wed, Mar 19, 2014

Bing Bests Baidu Censorship


Independent research from Xia Chu has shown that, in addition to non-China content, Bing censors a vast amount of content that is hosted inside China and which is not censored by China-based internet companies like Baidu. After communicating our issues with Microsoft, Bing removed certain censorship rules (kudos to Bing), but much work remains to be done.

We recently called for Microsoft to release its transparency report for Bing (as have others - full disclosure, Rebecca sits on our advisory board).  Microsoft has yet to respond to this request. But Xia’s independent research of Bing’s China censorship policy could be regarded as a de facto transparency report for the search engine.

In this thorough study, the results of which we have verified, Xia examined Bing's SERP (search engine results page) for over 30,000 sensitive and nonsensitive query terms, and launched these queries from both inside and outside of China. Comparing and examining these results, plus querying with special search operators, reveals unprecedented detail on Bing's China filtering practices.

The main findings from Xia’s research include:

  • Bing has a list of “forbidden” terms where no results are shown. 139 such terms have been identified.

  • Bing has a blacklist of websites that it never shows to China users. 329 such websites are identified. (5 have been lifted after our communication with Microsoft.)

Thu, Feb 13, 2014

Setting Bing's Broken Record Straight

We can also now trace complicit Bing Chinese censorship back to 2009 as highlighted by Nicholas Kristof. It looks like Microsoft has indeed changed its censorship mechanism after our research made headlines this week. But Bing is still seriously flawed on two fronts: its algorithm favors pro-Chinese government websites by default on all search terms in simplified Chinese and their front end mistakenly delivers explicit censorship of search results on some search terms for users from all over the world.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014

No error here: Microsoft deploying Chinese censorship on global scale

Microsoft says: “The results themselves are and were unaltered outside of China”. This is simply not true.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014

Bing practicing Chinese censorship globally

Our latest research indicates that Microsoft’s search engine Bing is censoring English and Chinese language search on its home page in order to exclude certain results. We have also noticed that Bing is practicing subtle censorship with search results. In both instances, Bing is filtering out links and stories that the Chinese authorities would deem damaging.

Thu, Jan 23, 2014

Massive blocking of foreign media in China

After Tuesday’s report Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite by ICIJ, China blocked a number of major newspaper websites. All websites below were blocked after publishing copies of the original report. They're all listed as the publishing partners for “Chinaleaks” stories on ICIJ's website. The Great Firewall rarely blocks non-Chinese websites. Many of them have published the Chinese version of the report which probably explains the unusual development.


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