The lack of search results, according to news agencies, has raised questions about possible censorship on the anniversary of the massacre.
Technology company Microsoft’s Bing search engine didn’t show image search hits for the keyword “tank man” on Friday, users report in many countries, according to news agency Reuters.
“Tank man” is a term often used for an unknown person standing in the famous image in front of tanks at a demonstration in Tiananmen Square in June 1989.
According to the news agency, “tank man” searches in the U.S., Germany, Singapore, and many other countries, for example, did not return any search results. Late Friday night, that search did not yield any results in Finland either.
A competing search engine, Google, showed several search results for “tank man” on Friday.
China is known for its demands to censor the results of search engines operating under its power, but restrictions are rarely in place elsewhere.
According to Microsoft, the case was due to “human harm, which we are actively trying to repair.”
Search results the intervention has raised questions about possible censorship on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which was celebrated on Friday, according to Reuters.
In 1989, thousands of students marched on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, to demand reform and democracy. The country’s administration sent tanks and armed soldiers to disperse the protest, and estimates of the death toll range from a few hundred to several thousand.
Hong Kong has been the only Chinese-controlled area where it has been possible to commemorate the events of Tiananmen Square in an open rally, but Hong Kong police have banned the rally this year citing the threat of a coronavirus. In mainland China, the approach of Memorial Day has generally been followed by tightening internet censorship, AFP says.