A free speech advocacy group in China with the name of GreatFire.org had accused Microsoft that it was filtering search results relating to Dalai Lama in both China and out. Dalai Lama is a separatist spiritual leader which the Chinese government brands as a violent separatist.
Microsoft has responded to the allegations leveled by rights group and has said that a technical fault led to removal of search results outside China. Microsoft as faced a lot of criticism in the past over censoring of its video chatting and instant messaging service Skype. Stefan Weitz at Bing has said in a statement emailed to Reuters:
“Due to an error in our system, we triggered an incorrect results removal notification for some searches noted in the report but the results themselves are and were unaltered outside of China. ”
Reuters also noted that the search results for Dalai Lama in Chinese in Singapore omitted many websites while the search results in English version of Bing were same in both Google and Bing.
The government in China employs censorship as a key means of keeping its grip on power and treats its criticism on internet and social media as a trigger for social unrest.
The companies operating in China often tread a careful path which means cooperating with the Chinese government without sacrificing their public image of being loyal to freedom of speech.