Notepad ++ drops Bing after tank man censorship fiasco

The latest version of Notepad ++ removed support for Bing search from the app after the “tank man” fiasco Microsoft faced on Friday afternoon.

“Microsoft Bing is being removed from Notepad ++ settings for the Find Internet command, due to its low reliability,” says Notepad ++ v8 announcement.

Don Ho, the creator of Notepad ++, one of Notepad’s most popular open-source replacements, revealed on GitHub that the motivation behind the move is that Bing is censoring the results instead of doing “its job.”

“When a search engine censors its place of work, the search result loses its quality and becomes unreliable,” said Don Ho in GitHub’s pledge to remove support for Bing.

“As a result, Microsoft Bing is being removed from Notepad ++ for the” Search the Internet “command.

Bing censorship labeled as accidental human error

As the first remark by Shane Huntley, Director of Software Engineering at Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Bing does not return any image or video results when searching for “tank man” in the US, UK, in France and in other countries of the world.

When searching for the phrase, users would only get, “There are no results for tank man. Check your spelling or try different keywords.” error messages.

While there was no immediate explanation for the problem, it is well known that China is forcing companies with businesses within its borders to comply with its censorship rules requiring referrals to be blocked. the 1989 Chinese crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests.

“This is due to accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this issue,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BleepingComputer on Friday.

China banned the popular Notepad ++ text editor in August 2020 after Don Ho protested China’s human rights abuses of the Uyghur people and political unrest in Hong Kong by releasing two versions titled “Stand with Hong Kong ”and“ Free Uyghur ”.

“I am not surprised at their reaction. But since freedom of speech is a fundamental right of everyone, I will not be silent,” Don Ho told BleepingComputer at the time.

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