Testing was conducted in four Arab countries chosen for their different levels of Internet censorship as uncovered by the latest ONI research.These countries are the United Arab Emirates (substantial political filtering and pervasive social filtering),5 Syria (pervasive political filtering and selective social filtering),6 Algeria (no evidence of filtering),7 and Jordan (selective political filtering and no evidence of social filtering).8 All testing was conducted in the period of January 2-15, 2010.That is, although political filtering is widespread in the MENA region, social filtering, including keyword filtering, is not practiced by all countries in MENA.
This option is available for Bing instances tailored to some other countries.
- There is no filtering by keywords if a user chooses another country (e.g., United States, Canada) as their location even if they are physically located in an Arab country.
- Bing filters out English keywords that could yield sexually explicit Web sites.
The keywords include “porn,” “sex,” “fuck,” “penis” (but not “vagina”), “sodomy,” “homo,” “sexual,” “sexy,” “clitoris,” and “anal.” - Bing filters out English keywords such as “gay,” “lesbian,” “homosexual,” and “queer” when searching for images, however, using these words to search for Web sites is permitted.
On the other hand, default settings have a profound impact on user decisions; many users will be unaware of the options or be motivated to try alternative searches.