Search engines help us find what we’re looking for. So when governments put pressure on search companies, the results can be sinister.

A cyber-monitoring group says Microsoft’s Bing is squelching politically sensitive topics. What are their responsibilities, and what can people do to keep the information flowing?

Linguist Daniel Midgley searches for answers on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Promo with James Hall

Show notes

Facebook allows custom genders

About 50+ in all.


An Internet watchdog accuses Microsoft’s Bing of censoring Sino-sensitive results, even outside China.

Microsoft denies it

Bing has some ‘splaining to do.

What do you do if you’re a search engine in China?

Google’s history of censorship

Google says it’s getting hammered

and puts out a transparency report to document it all.

Bing could use one of those.

Google now explains the censorship, and provides suggestions.

Blogger redirects you to a country-specific URL so it can censor country by country.

Chinese speakers have ways around this.

Kevin Slavin on how algorithms shape our world

How do search engines work?

There have been many Google Bombs over the years.

Google put a stop to them.

Why not try DuckDuckGo?

The words of the Winter Olympics

Show tunes

‘Stay’ by the Go Find
from the album Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight

‘Stadium Ice’ by Squarepusher
from the album Ufabulum