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Microsoft allows easy access to porn

tech-reviews Updated: Jun 06, 2009 11:25 IST

ANI
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Bing went live in the U.S. this weekend, and bloggers and Internet safety experts discovered that one of its "features" needed only a few clicks for anyone, of any age, to view explicit pornographic videos without even leaving the search engine.

As Microsoft attempts to unseat Google, it unveiled a slate of convenient features for Bing, including an "autoplay" tool that lets users preview videos simply by hovering a mouse over them.

The tool may become a liability because users can have easy access to porn videos on Bing, and not have to log on to one of the porno web sites.

The glitch was noticed by technology blogger Loic Le Meur on June 1 after testing video search on Bing, and he found the number of pornography located transformed the search engine into its very own pornographic Web site.

"You are now on a porn site without leaving Bing. Amazing," Fox News quoted him as writing on his blog.

Bing, like other major search engines, lets users set filtering preferences at one of three levels-strict, moderate or simply off.

Online safety advocates argue that search engines need to do much more to cut off underage access to pornography, as the filters can be circumvented easily with just one click.

"It's a no-brainer for any kid," said Donna Rice Hughes, president and chairwoman of Enough Is Enough, a group that works to help parents protect children from online porn.

"From the standpoint of the new state-of-the-art search engine, [the video preview] is a really neat thing of course.

"The flipside of that is that you've got an abundance of pornography out there," she added.

Content-filtering companies have also been reviewing Bing, and have found the same gaping problems.