Microsoft Bing thinks Molly Wood is NSFW

To Microsoft Bing, Molly Wood is an unsafe search. But I can't prove otherwise without turning off safe search mode. Catch-22!

I'm not necessarily looking to pile on Microsoft Bing or jump on the #bingfail bandwagon. But a lot has been written about how Bing's video searches often return full-motion porn that's not easily blocked, while its SafeSearch options are incredibly easy to turn off . Lately, I've run into a very specific issue with Bing that is both hilarious and indicative of the problem with overly broad filtering. Perhaps it's easiest to simply illustrate the problem.

Here's what happens when I conduct a Google image search for my name.

Google's image search results for "Molly Wood"

Here's what Bing returns.

Bing's image search results for "Molly Wood"

As it turns out, there is an adult film star who shares the name Molly Wood. I know. Bummer for me. So, Bing has apparently decided that any image search for my name is simply too dangerous to return any results at all. And the only recourse for me to find the perfectly innocent images you see in the Google results above is to turn off the SafeSearch filter and take my chances on the porn star showing up. So, I tried that. And I am scarred for life. (Do not do this!) Apparently Bing doesn't even know I exist, but I now know a whole lot about the other Molly Wood, if you know what I'm saying.

I know this isn't a problem most of you are likely to run into, but to me, it's indicative that Bing's got some pretty big kinks to work out (so to speak), in terms of its algorithm and determining relevant results. Then again, Yahoo seems to think I'm a puppy. Maybe I just have some personal SEO issues.

UPDATE: As of today (one day after this post was published), a Bing image search on my name returns plenty of perfectly SFW images, and many of them are even of me! I am a little curious about this guy, though.

 

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