back to article Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America

Thirty-two years ago, on June 4, 1989, Chinese troops killed and arrested thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, putting an end to demonstrations that began that April. Microsoft's Bing has no memory of an iconic moment from that time: there's no record of Tank Man – the lone protester who faced …

  1. Ian Bush

    I remember that day. I remember as a student sitting in the common room watching the television footage. Crying. Crying for the people of China. Crying for a people being told lies. Crying for all of us whenever we unquestioningly forgo freedom for security. World, don't forget this. This is what the Chinese government is all about. Every time you have dealings with the Chinese government remember Tiananmen Square.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you also noticed how it's invading western democracies at an alarming speed ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe Hong Kong should have stayed British. It's clear the Chinese government doesn't think much of the treaties it signs.

        1. nematoad Silver badge

          "Maybe Hong Kong should have stayed British. "

          Sadly that was not possible.

          The 99 year lease on the New Territories was running out and although Britain could have retained Hong Kong Island itself plus Kowloon it would have been difficult to maintain these parts without the New Territories which make up a great percentage of the total area and housed a large proportion of the population. So instead of just handing back the New Territories a decision was made to return the whole area.

          Relying on the good faith of the Chinese government was a gamble and one which has sadly not paid off.

          1. MJB7

            Hanging on to Hong Kong

            If the British Government had offered full British Citizenship to all Hong Kong citizens it would have been possible. China would either have extended the lease, or got back a few square miles of territory with tumbleweed. In the latter case Britain would have had an influx of hard working grateful immigrants. That they didn't is mostly down to Norman Tebbit's racism.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: an influx of hard working grateful immigrants.

              Lucky them. Don't get too comfortable though, eh?

            2. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Hanging on to Hong Kong

              "a few square miles of territory with tumbleweed." You obviously haven't been to the NT.

              Also, most HKers didn't/don't want to go to the UK. Hongcouver or similar. Even a lot of the caucasians (including Brits) preferred Australasia, Canada, Mainland Europe or Africa.

              The PRC would not have extended the lease and part of the current problem is that the UK did not keep its obligations until now when it is trendy. It allowed things to slowly change and not a murmur. Westminster states it is legally valid treaty to which it was committed to upholding yet when HK asked Beijing for interpretations on the treaty the UK did nothing when it should have pointed out such interpretations should have been subject to the UN and International Courts and demanding this be done.

    2. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      At Ian, re: that day.

      I, too, was disheartened that day watching the slaughter. Please join me in a pint, a respectful moment of silence, then up to the roof to shout about it to the world so we never forget.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I remember that day.

      I remember also listening to Australian radio reporting, from correspondents in China - it was a long time ago, but I have always had the distinct recollection that the crackdown was not only in Tiananmen Square, but other places in China also.

      It'd be interesting to have a browse around in some archives to dig out those reports.

    4. Anomalous Cowshed

      Chinese / Cheese

      Every time I hear the English word "Chinese" , as in "Chinese government" i, t reminds me of "cheese" with all the associated connotations. This doesn't happen in any other language, inly English (e. g. in French, "chinois" I has no relation with "fromage"). Is there any chance we could do something about this, like use a different word for either Chinese or cheese?


        Re: Chinese / Cheese

        There is a time and place for such humor, friend.

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Chinese / Cheese

        N ot even funny under any circumstances and not particularly accurate.

  2. Magani

    What's in a phrase?

    It looks like the CCP has decided that the phrase "Pictures, or it didn't happen" is a valid way of rewriting history. Just get the picture to go away, and ergo, no evidence.

    Really sad that the CCP shills have burrowed their way into our lives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a phrase?

      Or changing what words mean.

      "reef conservation" means building a 10000 foot runway on the reef.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's in a phrase?

        And on foreign territory. Fiery Cross Reef belongs to the Philippines.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: What's in a phrase?

          According to the provided link "and is also claimed by the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan), the Philippines and Vietnam."

          So, "disputed" seems to be the operative word here, although having the big bully of the CCP just sail in and take possession still isn't a good result.

          Having said that, Taiwans claim doesn't really count since, despite it's world trading links and the sort of informal support of the US, Taiwan is neither a UN member nor recognised as a State by most countries.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's in a phrase?

            Let me explain how Democracy works to you, because you don't seem to get it...

            Taiwan is an independent country until the majority of the people there vote to join China in a Referendum.

            That the entire world pretends that Taiwan isn't an independent country is a huge F***ing embarrassment to China, and China has not caught on to that. For all of the bad publicity they try to hide, they really don't understand what it is that makes them look bad.

            They are the two year old who thinks they get their way because they had a temper-tantrum. Everyone else just sees that they are acting like a two year-old, and are glad that the whiney noise has stopped.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: What's in a phrase?

              It seems there has been a lot of knee-jerk reaction to my post. Nothing I said was incorrect.

              You think it's embarrassing for China that the rest of the world doesn't recognise Taiwan as an independent country? That is just so wrong and distorted that I'm amazed you actually believe it. What is REALLY embarrassing is that almost no country in the world recognises Taiwan as a country. How could anyone NOT accept Taiwan as a country while trading with them? That's truly mind boggling.

              None of this has anything to do with democracy in the way that you imply. I suspect you think that I was advocating for Taiwan to be part of China. Maybe I worded it poorly, or maybe you just didn't read what I wrote.

              The territorial claim I was talking about was the "legal" claim in the eyes of the world. If the world won't recognise Taiwan as a legal entity then clearly they also won't recognise any extra-territorial claims either. There are still two other legal claims to the same place, so yes, China should not have sailed in and taken it. That's an illegal occupation and that is what I alluded to.

              But, as often happens here, once someone misreads a post and downvotes, others seem to pile in without reading or understanding what they are voting on.

            2. Muppet Boss

              Re: What's in a phrase?

              >Let me explain how Democracy works to you, because you don't seem to get it...

              The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.

              Edward Bernays*

              Propaganda, 1928

              *The father of PR, a great mind behind the United Fruit Company, US tobacco industry, GE, Procter & Gamble and a few CIA projects abroad including Guatemala.

          2. NetBlackOps

            Re: What's in a phrase?

            Taiwan used to hold the Chinese seat on the UN Security Council. Sadly, our politicians decided they wanted to invest in China (export manufacturing jobs due to reduced labor costs) and that was the end of that. Everything around and about China has involved stabs in the backs of the populace. This is going to end very ugly.

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: What's in a phrase?

          You are the same as Beijing. You don't understand what claimed means.

    2. NATTtrash Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: What's in a phrase?

      London, 1949

      Publisher: "Really George? Don't you think this is a bit extreme? I mean, whole departments, whole Ministeries, just to rewrite history actively? Changing pictures just to remove specific people from the memory of millions? Surely that could never happen! People have their own memories, and we all know pictures don't lie."

      George: "You will be surprised what humans are capable off. Look at what we just experienced, and be very afraid of where we are heading."

      Publisher: "Ah well, we can always sell it as science fiction..."

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: What's in a phrase?

        It was probably closer to speculative fiction (At the time).

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's in a phrase?

        It takes a tedious pedant of the very worst kind to point out that George was a pen-name and he was actually called Eric.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: What's in a phrase?

          @Pseudononymous Coward no, a true pedant would point out that although George Orwell was originally a pen name, he used the name in conversation and correspondence with later friends and colleagues.

          Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe George Orwell as Eric Arthur Blair's pseudonym?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's in a phrase?

            Tony's ancestor?

    3. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: What's in a phrase?

      Just another method for rewriting history actually. I've just been reading The History Thieves by Ian Cobain [Portobello Books, London 2016], which recounts the actions (both legal and illegal) British governments have undertaken over the last couple of centuries to rewrite history. And it's been highly successful, including concealment from the public of British participation in foreign wars continuously since 1914.

      Plus, Private Eye reported this week that a biographer has had to spend £250k in legal fees having had his access blocked by the UK government to papers deposited in a notionally public archive on the basis that they contain "Royal material".

      Every nation on Earth (and every business, and probably pretty much every CV writer) tries to polish their public image, and achieving this can require deception. However in this case the proverbial cat is well out of the bag, so the suppression of the photo seems pretty pointless. I have in front of me The Tiananmen Papers by Liang, Nathan & Link [Little, Brown & Co., London 2001], which exposes the internal machinations and infighting that led to the massacre. It's highly informative but not at all edifying.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: What's in a phrase?

        unfortunately, to the intellectual lazy people who all too often prefer wikipedia and search engines to libraries and dead-tree manuals, "disappearing" something on Teh Intarwebs is an effective censorship and revisionist history trick.

        But if we're lucky, there will still be a proper card catalog at a nearby library where we can actually look things up "the old fashioned way".

        (I suspect that most of us these days use the library more as a "last resort" though...)

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Relying on search engines to set history into stone is not good

          Mainly I think not to bookmark something, or work out what I typed into Google to get what I did, because I think it will be always there, and I kick myself when something I searched for is now no longer searchable.

          The hits that come up today are totally different to those that came up five years ago. It's not always because points of view or morals have changed, but Google seems to attach less importance now to those events even where there is no controversy, and will not show up links that were pivotal at the time they happened.

          It seems that to playback history the way it was at the time, the Wayback Machine is a better bet. But you have to know what site it was seen on before that breakthrough can be made. If only there were a Wayback Google one could use to search these archives.

          The conclusion is that Google is not an archive of the past at all, but convolves it in ways that it sees fit.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: Relying on search engines to set history into stone is not good

            Ok, just thought of an easily verifiable example.

            My erstwhile, yet still visble ExpertsExchange bio has some details of my experience which were indexed by google, but no longer. Of course, I am a completely inconsequential person within the history of IT. That's not the point. The point is that there might be a piece of information on that webpage which might be useful for someone wanting to know a bit about GEC4080, WordPerfect,Thick Ethernet, DUTE, Clipper, etc. Sometimes just the existence of a keyword or technology can be useful to someone, somewhere. Presumably the reason I've dropped off is that I've not maintained that bio, but google seems to have very selective amnesia. ISTR the first contribution I made to Experts Exchange was to do with WordPerfect Delay Codes. Though the answer to my solution was accepted, it no longer exists, yet other contemporary discussions of the topic (2003) are still indexed, even though they have been similarly neglected by their authors.

            There are many other examples, but in many cases there is the nagging doubt that one may have imagined something, rather than it being wiped from google's recollection.

        2. NetBlackOps

          Re: What's in a phrase?

          We really need a Hidden Wiki that doesn't involve criminal activities.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: What's in a phrase?

            What are the advantages of that? If we want to restrict who can add information, it makes more sense to have a public wiki with a difficult process to gain edit rights. A hidden entry point in case that gets censored, sure, but the main thing could easily be public.

        3. gerdesj Silver badge

          Re: What's in a phrase?

          "who all too often prefer wikipedia"

          Well, yes but you can infer quite a lot from WP articles if you look hard. For example, who knew how controversial electronics can get? Let's take a look at "bad capacitors" - all Taiwan's fault and ended in 2007. What a load of bollocks and lo the WP article has a history that is breathtakingly long.

          500 edits only gets you back to 2012. Now electronics nerds can get a bit ... errr ... fixated but even for a famously .... err ... fixated bunch that is ridiculous.

          Yes caps do blow and can be replaced but happily the really faulty ones only come from Taiwan and not some sort of superset country of Taiwan and it was all over in 2007. Hoorah!

          Yes I do read WP and it can tell tales without saying anything explicitly.

    4. CountCadaver

      Re: What's in a phrase?

      Try r/sino on someone described it CCP circlejerk, most distorted world view outside Q

    5. Muppet Boss
      Black Helicopters

      Re: What's in a phrase?

      >It looks like the CCP has decided that the phrase "Pictures, or it didn't happen" is a valid way of rewriting history. Just get the picture to go away, and ergo, no evidence.

      I would really like the CCP to be more open about it. I understand this tragedy is still a huge embarrassment and a taboo topic to the Chinese political establishment however I think enough time has passed to justify historical interest. Though, as recent events show, China remains to be very secretive about their sensitive topics.

      I would be very interested to learn about the CIA and MI-6 (because Hong Kong) role in the protests. It is hard to imagine that Operation Yellowbird ("to form a Chinese democracy movement in exile") came out of nowhere; there were clearly prior interests, contacts and agent networks even when using mafia for the hard work.

      I would be very interested to learn if Chai Ling's revelations in an interview to Philip Cunningham on 28 May 1989 were true, about the protest goal was "hoping for bloodshed,.. to make the Square awash with blood ... to wake the Chinese people up" or they were just little girl's Communism-inspired fantasies, despite her being one of the key protest leaders.

      I would be interested to learn if the protest leaders tactics of breaking down negotiations, personally insulting government officials and causing international embarrassment to the CCP during Mr. Gorbachev visit was deliberate to escalate the conflict and cause the blood to be shed.

      Then, again, it does not lessen the tragedy of innocent people being murdered, it is just that it would be right to know and name all responsible.

  3. thames Silver badge

    Bing? Does that still exist?

    I'm familiar with the picture, but I've never heard it referred to as "tank man" before, so perhaps the problem is a poor choice of search terms. If I google for the phrase "tank man" though, I get loads of images for it, so it's definitely not missing from mainstream search engines.

    I see the story mention that they used something called "Bing". I've never head of anyone using that before either. Perhaps the actual issue is that someone tried to find something using Bing.

    1. Ace2 Bronze badge

      Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

      I use Bing 100% since I loathe Google. It is almost always perfectly fine.

      On the rare occasions I strike out and fall back to Google, it’s startling how much more SEO spam and other gunk (goo?) it throws up at me. It’s been a long time since Google found me something that Bing couldn’t.

      1. Teiwaz

        Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

        Both the companies backing these services seem equally loatheble to me.

        Bing seems to throw up slightly less porn on image searches than Google.

        However, since I search with filters off on both, I regard Bing as being the least honest.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

          Bing seems to throw up slightly less porn on image searches than Google.

          - well that sounds like a demerit straight away, and we haven't even got on to doing the dirty work of totalitarian regimes.

        2. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

          re: porn on Bing.

          Really? When I want porn, Bing is the search engine of choice. Simply disable safe-search and enter ANY female (or male) body'll be scrolling for hours.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

      I have to say that when I heard "tank man" at the start of the news report I was picturing something along the links of "tank girl" before my memory caught up with me.

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Bing? Does that still exist?

        Down votes aside it's a good point there is nothing specific about tianamen Square in the phrase "tank man" if you search bing today you get guys in underware.

        Who is suggesting that China has the power to remove things from the Bing index?

        Google publishes a history of search terms and "tank man" has never been very popular at any point in history except June last year and now.

        The plot thickens.

  4. gerryg

    The DuckDuckGo boast

    "The Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs."

    Who knew that they had China in mind?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: The DuckDuckGo boast

      It's not really their fault that they use Bing as a component. If Bing blocks it, they didn't make any decision. The people at fault are the one who blocked it and the manager who either knew it or went to some effort not to know it (loop a few levels up).

      1. Spoonsinger

        Re: The DuckDuckGo boast

        It is their fault by implying that they are an independent search engine, protecting the user, bla bla, etc.

        1. martyn.hare

          DDG protects the user from

          Personalised bias in search results and profiling by Bing for personalised advertising. It doesn’t claim to alter the non-ad related results themselves.

          Startpage does the same thing but with Google results, as it is modern day Scroogle.


            Re: DDG protects the user from

            Quick correction that DDG uses Yahoo among other partnerships (but mostly Yahoo) for its results. Yahoo now uses Bing. So it's a cascading sort of effect, APIs on top of APIs.

            Specifically, DDG runs its own small amount of search indexing, but to save on costs they make use of other engines.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Call me paranoid....

    Bing... a Microsoft company, seems to the culprit. I wonder if they're just sucking up to China or were threatened that their production lines would be shut down? Given all the BS of the last years (more than a couple), nothing would surprise me. Money and power have overtaken anything relating to common sense.

    1. John Savard

      Re: Call me paranoid....

      Sounds to me more like they were hacked.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Call me paranoid....

        I doubt that very much. I'm guessing a feature implemented so it works in China's censorship regime got expanded to cover everybody else too. Bad enough that they're operating there, but extremely unacceptable that they're extending any of it elsewhere. They say it was a mistake, and it does sound plausible to me, but that doesn't make it more acceptable.

        1. matjaggard

          Re: Call me paranoid....

          Never assume malice when incompetence is a possibility. Humans are ALL incompetent at times but people over estimate how malicious humans are.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Call me paranoid....

            I agree, maliciousness in humanity as a group is low.

            History on the other hand gives a non stop litany of small numbers of very malicious people reaching a position of authority with dire results, especially when the spread of knowledge is controlled.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Call me paranoid....

            If the same human is accidentally incompetent twice, watch them like a hawk. Three times, it's not worth the risk, assume malice, protect yourself

        2. John Savard

          Re: Call me paranoid....

          Well, maybe a Microsoft employee accidentally treated a counterfeit copyright claim purporting to be from Reuters as real. That would be human error, in response to an attempt at hacking by human engineering. Bogus copyright claims are real enough...

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Call me paranoid....

          occam's razor. you may have hit this one directly on the head

        4. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: Call me paranoid....

          "a feature implemented so it works in China's censorship"

          That is craaazy doublethink. The news here is that "human error" caused this. i.e humans are manipulating your search results, in the US.

          They got caught doing it.

          Microsoft make no attempt to hide this.

          And dumb fscks still think that some how China is behind all this.

          Because of course (despite reported evidence to the contrary in the article we all just read) the good ol You ess of Ay does not manipate search results on or around the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests?!?

          Please down vote me on the way to your two minutes of hate. (now available on Zoom)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft opposes Communist China

    Unless money is involved, in which case they lick their jackboots.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft opposes Communist China

      Don't fool yourself that it's only Microsoft.

  7. Jamesit

    Tank man is back on DDG. Never forget what happened..

    1. MarkSitkowski

      The picture was missing for the anniversary, so the CCP succeeded

      1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

        The CCP, Johnson's wet dream.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I must admit, until today, I'd never heard of that image being referred to "tank man" before.

      I wonder if it's a regional thing? People in the US have much more of a tendency to invent nicknames for things and see them taken up by many others, more so, it seems, then other parts of the English speaking world. An obvious example was a recent story on El Reg re. NASA logos and nicknames like "meat-ball", which seems many readers had also never heard of before. Likewise I recently became aware that an early Commodore logo is referred to as the "chicken lips" logo. It's all a bit weird IMHO :-)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Searches in Bing work from here in New Zealand, as at 17:14 local time

  9. Cheshire Cat

    If it WAS intentional, then China really does not understand the Streisand Effect... and maybe Microsoft DOES understand it.

    1. AW-S

      Barbara's law

      BBC World have just added a story about this "accidental human error" by MS. Thereby guaranteeing that Tank Man lives on for another few decades in our minds.

      Maybe somebody at MS does know about Barbara's law and how to now use it.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Barbara's law

        A very plausible possibility, they've experienced the effect enough over the years.

        $deity$ help us if this is in any way AI driven.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It was intentional, and it was done to make money in China. Was it intentional outside China? Who knows? How did it happen?

  10. tkioz


    Money, money, money, honey, money makes the worllllllllllllllld go 'round!

    The only 'human error' involved here was the error in an actual human spotting Microsoft's shameless pandering to China.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    "Accidental human error"

    Never attribute to stupidity what can be attributed to malice or greed.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Not sure about that.

      Human stupidity is a very powerful force. Almost unstoppable.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only South Park...

    ...actually had the guts to say it as it is:

    "You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China"

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    And for

    god's sake

    Dont say that Taiwan is an independent country else china will ban you

    Oh well thats el-reg banned in China (along with winnie the pooh strangely)

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: And for


      Dont say that Taiwan is an independent country

  14. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The ancient sages said...

    "Do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon."

    So may one just man become an army?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: The ancient sages said...

      Bonus point for the Water Margin reference!

  15. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Plumbers must think that the internet really has it in for them

    First, cocks, now tanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plumbers must think that the internet really has it in for them

      Thanks, I needed a laugh:-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    my young daughter was searching on Bing for Winnie-the-Pooh and our home network router was hit with a massive sustained DDoS.


    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: coincidence?

      I am beginning to wonder this: Frequently BBC radio is interviewing someone high profile at their home using VOIP, the call starts well then ends abruptly. Sometimes the BBC has to call back on a low-fi mobile signal to continue reliably. Or they abandon the call. It happens with such remarkable frequency. Yet I've never had this happen on a business Teams or Zoom call. So with the BBC it's a bit... coincidental.

      Now, home IP addresses are moderately static and can be garnered by crafty cookie usage.

      I assume GCHQ is at least considering that this has connotations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: coincidence?

      Did your daughter try to add the word cartoon to the search ? Just asking.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ever since citizens united, China and Russia have realized the best and least expensive way to control the US is via simple old bribery rather than a much more expensive military arms race.

    I am sure some money donated to the right individuals resulted in these links vaporizing with the hopes that the world had forgotten about them and no one would notice.

  18. The Onymous Coward

    In China, your "right to be forgotten" is exercised on your behalf by the CCP.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, for me (UK 1pm Saturday) typing a "t" in the Bing search bar immediately gives "tiananmem tank man" as the first auto-complete option.

    I suspect a "request" to hide anything Tianamen Square related over the anniversary by the CCP was, until noticed, accidentally applied to all Bing searches and not just the ones behind the "great firewall of china"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - To me it doesn't

      it says Teams, Twitch, Twitter, Teamviewer and son on. And I'm currently living in a country hating China more than any other country in the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC - To me it doesn't

        You live in Anonymousia?

  20. xyz

    Should we rename...

    Duckduckgo as fuckfuckoh... BTW a Bing in Scotland is a slag heap.

    1. Skiron
      Thumb Up

      Re: Should we rename...

      From Chambers dictionary:


      bing1 /bing/ (dialect)


      A heap or pile (esp of waste from a coalmine)

      A bin

      ORIGIN: ON bingr


      Interestingly, BING, isn't in the Yank dictionary Merriam-Webster. Something else Microsoft has stolen.

      1. Brian Miller

        Re: Should we rename...

        Honestly, I don't remember "bing" being an American word. There's "bingo" but not "bing". But then again, I grew up around lumber mills, not coal mines.

        1. John Savard

          Re: Should we rename...

          The only American thing I remember it for is as a proper name. Of that Crosby fellow.

          1. Skiron

            Re: Should we rename...

            Unfortunately Bing isn't a proper Name. From Wackipidi (read at your sanity).


            Crosby: "Well, I'll tell you, back in the knee-britches day, when I was a wee little tyke, a mere broth of a lad, as we say in Spokane, I used to totter around the streets, with a gun on each hip, my favorite after school pastime was a game known as "Cops and Robbers", I didn't care which side I was on, when a cop or robber came into view, I would haul out my trusty six-shooters, made of wood, and loudly exclaim bing! bing!, as my luckless victim fell clutching his side, I would shout bing! bing!, and I would let him have it again, and then as his friends came to his rescue, shooting as they came, I would shout bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing!"

            Blondell: "I'm surprised they didn't call you "Killer" Crosby! Now tell me another story, Grandpa!

            Crosby: "No, so help me, it's the truth, ask Mister De Mille."

            De Mille: "I'll vouch for it, Bing.


            'Tis a nickname. Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. There, that's ruined next Christmas.

  21. Robert Grant Silver badge


    It's back now. But probably not in all countries.

    1. Skiron

      Re: Update

      Well, if you use bing maps not at all...

  22. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Melinda Gates

    The same human error may be to blame one day if Melinda Gates disappears from Bing search results sometime in the future

  23. Blackjack Silver badge

    Wait.... Duckduckgo is powered by Bing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Their image search is largely powered by Bing. This is fairly common knowledge.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      The point of duckduckgo is to prevent data from flowing from you to the big corporations. The other way around is fine.

  24. Joe Gurman


    Something must have changed since yesterday. I see dozens of results with DuckDuckGo.

  25. Joe Gurman

    Rewriting history

    A whole government? One would have thought Amber Rudd did quite well all on her own.

  26. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Human error

    Yes, someone at Microsoft accidentally leaned on the Bing button marked “Chinese oppression”….

  27. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Meanwhile, 100 years in the future, few if any search engines will bring up anything when searching for the word ‘bing;, apart from Bing Crosby of course.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Another Bing

      A lot of people would associate Bing with the German tinplate toymaker, now highly collectible antique pieces.

  28. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Also, because the story about the tank man not appearing on bing image search has appeared on so many news sites by this morning, a search for images on bing now returns the famous photo as it should have done in the first place.

    1. adam 40 Silver badge

      Maybe on purpose after all?

      Just thinking, if some grunt at Bing was told to take it down for China, but thought, "Let's take it down for the whole world instead"? Just to see what would happen?

      And now as you point out, it's shown that the rest of the world very much has NOT forgotten, and it's raised the profile of "Tank Man". Well done that grunt!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register asked DuckDuckGo for its side of this story. We've not heard back.

    I wonder (not) why.

  30. MarkSitkowski

    I remember the news reports of that time. Wasn't Kate Adie's cameraman hit by a stray bullet while the 'Liberation Army' was shooting students?

  31. CellXPS13_user

    just searched Tiananmen Square Tank Man pure no "" and bing gave my Dell XPS ample info.

  32. llaryllama

    I'm going to take a lot of downvotes for this I'm sure, but I am coming to this article after seeing people gloating over Trump getting banned from Facebook.

    In my humble opinion it's not possible to be OK with a former US president being censored while being outraged about censorship of the CCP.

    For the record I am a liberal leaning Taiwanese citizen and I fully support free speech for all - especially the people I really don't like, because that's what free speech is.

    Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom in general are hard-won and delicate things. If you don't speak out about censorship when it happens to them at some point it will happen to you.

    1. arachnoid2

      As with Tank Man

      Freedom of speech does not include freedom to verbosely write clearly provable lies and distortions of events. Talking of which, Facebook is a private entity and is not in any way a prevention of freedom of speech to banned contributors. If anything, it should be even more accountable as a social media site similarly to newspapers, for the complete lack of truth by itself and many of its leading contributors.

      Just because you have freedom of speech doesn't mean anyone has to listen, print your comments in any media articles or contribute to their spreading. Nor does it mean anyone has to agree with them.

      Trump as the (ex) leader of one of the biggest free nations had an unwritten obligation and moral duty, to at least appear to be truthful and faithful to the county and its people as a whole. His contribution to history will clearly include a mass illegal insurrection of Parliament brought on by the coverage of his " freedom of speech" to sell lies and unrest to the very people he was there to protect and serve.

      1. llaryllama

        Re: As with Tank Man

        This is the exact argument the CCP uses to say with a very straight face that China has freedom of speech. You are free to say whatever you want as long as someone is willing to publish it (they're not) and you are fine with whatever consequences happen afterwards (they're bad).

        Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the other big social media platforms have basically become the Internet for 90% of people. I would not expect my ISP or phone provider to censor any of my communications as long as they are legal, we should expect the same neutrality from social media networks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Facebook is a company. There are plenty of company sites that support Trump. You don't know what censorship is. Censorship includes telling independent sites & journals not only what they CAN'T say, but also what they MUST say. DeSantis telling companies they MUST deliver Trump's message is a form of censorship.

      1. llaryllama

        You are comparing Facebook with a newspaper or news site, which they are absolutely not. I am not advocating for forced publication of any news or content. I am advocating for open and neutral access to public facing services within legal bounds.

        AT&T is a company, is it OK for them to filter traffic through their network because they don't like something you say?

        Tesco is a company, is it OK for them to refuse you service because of your political or religious beliefs?

        Of course not, so what is special about Facebook et al that they are allowed to judge who can or can't use their service?

  33. kitekrazy

    "China reveals plan to pump out positive news about itself. Let's see what happens when that lands with social media fact-checkers"

    Either this is some type of sarcasm or completely naive. The fact checkers will be fine with this.

  34. Shalghar

    Never trust any single search engine

    I still remember when the name of the inventor of printed books varied in bing according to country, one of the first times i actively used proxys to see what was censored and/or manipulated according to from which country the search request seemed to originate. None of the "results" mentioned that book printing (albeit without single letters) was already centuries old when Gutenberg and other tinkerers rediscovered and improved the idea.

    On topic, i rarely use a single or default search engine for anything of potentially political relevance, although meta search engines like metager often prove to be a good starting point.

    Metager had no problems finding the tank man, although some photo links were outdated or the linked sites already down, i was still able to find several instances of the photo as well as several reports on the mass slaughtering on the first results page.

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