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Microsoft Bing suggests child porn search terms to pedophiles: Report

IANS  |  San Francisco 

Pedophiles searching for on get keyword suggestions that lead to more criminal content on the web, according to a latest investigation, coming on the heel of an earlier one that found similar issues with Facebook-owned

Bing's 'Similar Images' feature can suggest additional illegal child abuse imagery to those who search for related content, said the study -- carried out by Israeli online safety start-up on behalf of -- on Thursday.

The study came after another report last month claimed that Facebook-owned was being used by traders of to distribute disturbing content without much of a hurdle.

The concerns raised in the latest study was shared with following which, the giant said it assigned an engineering team that fixed the issues.

"Clearly these results were unacceptable under our standards and policies and we appreciate TechCrunch making us aware.

"We acted immediately to remove them, but we also want to prevent any other similar violations in the future. We're focused on learning from this so we can make any other improvements needed," Jordi Ribas, Microsoft's of and AI Products, was quoted as saying.

said it was working on blocking any similar queries as well problematic related and similar images.

However, -- that is closely supervised by -- found that while some from its report are now banned or cleaned up, others still surface illegal content.

Microsoft also claimed that it was changing its flagging options to make it easier for people to report "child sexual abuse."

Similar searches on did not produce as clearly illegal imagery or as much concerning content as did Bing, the research showed.

The latest study was commissioned after the investigation last month revealed that in the absence of adequate human moderators, child pornographic material was slipping by the automated systems of that offers end-to-end for its users.

also found that several people from were part of groups that circulate child porn-related content.

WhatsApp last week said it blocked and removed over 1,30,000 such accounts to clamp down on on its platform.

"WhatsApp has a zero-tolerance policy around child sexual abuse. We deploy our most advanced technology, including to scan profile photos and actively ban accounts suspected of sharing this vile content.

"We also respond to in and around the world. Sadly, because both app stores and are being misused to spread abusive content, companies must work together to stop it," a said in a statement.

--IANS

gb-na/sed

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 16:14 IST
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