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Microsoft gives Bing stronger search filter option

Following criticism of Bing's video preview feature--which allowed viewing of adult content in the browser--Microsoft has come up with "a short-term workaround."

Bing's smart motion preview lets you hover over video search results and play a clip, but not if your network administrator plans to use Microsoft's new tweak.
Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

Microsoft has tweaked the search filters on its new Bing search engine following criticism that its smart motion video feature allowed Web surfers to watch porn without visiting adult Web sites.

The company announced the change in a blog post Thursday, as it also defended its approach to adult content in search results as a "more conservative approach than others in the industry." Bing does not show any video results for queries such as "porn" until the searcher disables a safe search filter, but following that click searchers can watch a small clip of adult content in the browser while still on the Bing site.

Bing's video preview feature--known as smart motion preview--is one of the selling points Microsoft has used to try to get momentum behind its revamped search engine. But the company acknowledged that corporate customers had expressed a desire to enforce stronger search filters within their networks, and so it is giving those network administrators as well as individual users on a home network the ability to add a string of text to Bing queries that automatically enforces the strictest search settings regardless of the user's individual setting.

This is "a short-term workaround" that will be finalized later, according to Microsoft, but no further details were provided. A Microsoft representative was looking into the details of how home users could implement this on their own networks.