Some countries maintain laws or regulations that apply to search service providers that require that we remove access to certain information that Bing has indexed, primarily for geopolitical purposes or local cultural norms and sensibilities. We must integrate our support for freedom of access to information by people of all countries with required compliance that allows us to offer the search services in a specific jurisdiction. When approached with a request for removal of search results by a governmental entity, we require proof of the applicable law and authority of the government agency, and an official request to require removal. If such proof is provided and we can verify it, then we may comply with the removal request. If we are required to implement the request, we will do so as narrowly as required by the law. If the removal request is inconsistent with international standards, we might choose to seek clarification to further narrow our obligation to comply.
Bing offers SafeSearch (A feature of Bing that helps you to block sexually explicit content from search results.) settings, which allow most users to set the type of filtering of adult content that they would like applied to their search results. By default, in most markets all searches are set to moderate, which restricts visually explicit search results but does not restrict explicit text. Because of local customs or cultural norms, certain countries may impose legal restrictions on the display of adult content. As a result, what constitutes adult content might vary depending on the market.
Bing categorizes certain countries as strict markets. In these strict markets, we might restrict the display of adult content (as locally defined), and because of the local customs, norms, and laws, we might limit SafeSearch settings only to "strict." Set to "strict," SafeSearch filters the display of explicit search results in images, videos, and text. Markets that are limited to "strict" include:
- Hong Kong
- Middle East