Baidu Updates News Search Options After Accusation of Bias

By Bryan Grogan, June 25, 2019

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Baidu has added a new filter function to its news search engine, whereby users can choose to bypass results coming from Baijiahao, the internet services company’s news aggregator, in favor of original articles. 

The new development follows accusations by a prominent Chinese journalist, Fang Kecheng, earlier this year that Baidu’s news search service gave favor to articles which appear on Baijiahao. 

Screen-Shot-2019-06-25-at-11.35.12-AM.png
Screenshot via Baidu.com

Fang wrote an ‘obituary’ for Baidu back in January through his public WeChat account, which accused the Chinese equivalent of Google of becoming a “marketing platform,” rather than a useful search engine.

Fang’s post went on to be read over 100,000 times (WeChat article views are capped at 100,000), and prompted a response from Baidu’s Weibo account. In a report by Reuters released around the same time, Baidu replied to the criticism by saying that only 10% of their search results come from Baijiahao, although they also acknowledged that their service could be made better. 

This is not the first time that Baidu’s search results have come under fire. In January 2018, Technode reported that Jinri Toutiao, itself a popular news aggregator in China, moved to sue the search engine for unfair competition. Search results for Jinri Toutiao on Baidu returned a Baijiahao article as the top result (our own search today returned an article by The Paper, discussing Jinri Toutiao’s privacy policy). 

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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