Bing has become the first search engine to introduce a pop-up warning for people looking for child abuse images.
The Microsoft-owned company’s move means the notification will appear on such searches to warn the user that such content is illegal and will provide details of a counselling service.
Yahoo – which utilises Bing technology on its own search page – said it was considering a similar move but Google is not planning to do so, instead continuing to report material and help experts combat the problem.
The news comes after David Cameron swore to get ISPs to block households’ access to porn sites unless they specifically request otherwise, as he seeks to cut down on the availability and access to online pornography.
Last week research conducted by web measurement company SimilarWeb found that internet traffic to pornography sites comprised 8.5% of all clicks on web pages in June, more than those for shopping, news, business or social networks.
Bing’s pop-up warning only applies to searches made in the UK and when users search words included on a blacklist compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
The organisation published a report earlier this year highlighting how a ‘hidden internet’ helped distributors of child abuse images escape detection by using encrypted networks and other secure methods.
CEOP CEO Peter Davies said after the Prime Minister’s speech last week on tackling child abuse: "We already have good relationships with ISPs and search engines, which provides us with a great platform to harness this increased support and their immense technical skills to prevent people from accessing child abuse imagery online.
"Anything which helps stop the distribution of this material or deters those who feed the market by accessing it online can only be a good thing and, working with the world’s leading technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook, we’re ready to hear their ideas on other ways to stop illegal child abuse material being viewed online, and to support their work."
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