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Search Blog

June
04

Smart Motion Preview and SafeSearch

One of the things we noticed in looking at how customers use search is the number of times people clicked the Back button in their browser soon after clicking on a search result.  When we dug into this, we found that people who clicked on the Back button quickly often did so because they were disappointed with the page they went to.  We call this ‘destination disappointment.’ 


We’ve been focused on this problem for a while.  In fact this was the driving reason we introduced a feature named Smart Motion Previews to our video results well more than a year ago.


There has been a bunch of conversation about this feature of late, and so we wanted to provide some context and hopefully answer some questions people have been asking.


First, let’s explain what it is and how it works.  The idea behind Smart Motion Previews is to give people the equivalent of a movie trailer for video results.  When we crawl videos, we create short previews (never more than 30 seconds, made up of a few very short clips) that reflect what our video crawling technology thinks are the most relevant parts.  We look at the audio levels for instance to see a big play in a sports video (based on the applause from a monster dunk, for example).


What’s cool about the technology is that it helps you decide if it is a video you want to go watch.  This makes it easier to sort through the clutter of all those results and help you get to what you are looking for.  And as a publisher, when people leave Bing for your site (and require bandwidth on your servers) it tends to be higher quality traffic because folks are sure of what they wanted to watch.  Plus, we think it’s pretty cool.


One important conversation going on right now is about unwanted adult video content within this feature.  To start with, by default in Bing (and in Live Search before it), we do not return explicit adult content in video or image results. In web results, we also do not include any explicit images or video content by default.  This is a bit more of a conservative approach than others in the industry.  If you set SafeSearch to strict, you will not see any explicit text, image or video content. If you turn SafeSearch off – which requires you to change the setting and then click again to acknowledge that you are over 18, then explicit content may appear.


We think our current search safety settings are solid but at Microsoft we are always working on pushing this stuff farther.  We also are listening to customers, and some have told us they want more control and they want it now.  In particular some folks who manage corporate networks have asked for tools now to enforce SafeSearch settings at the network level.  So for right now, we wanted to let people know that you can add “&adlt=strict” to the end of a query and no matter what the settings are for that session, it will return results as if safe search was set to strict.  The query would look like this:
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=adulttermgoeshere&adlt=strict (yes it is case sensitive).


This short term work-around should work with lots of popular firewall and safety products, as well as for larger, managed network environments.


In the next couple of months we will formalize this work so that a broader range of partners, applications and tools can take advantage of this functionality more easily.  In addition, we are looking for more ways to give consumers more control to ensure that Bing gives them a great search experience.


Thanks.


Mike Nichols, General Manager, Bing.

 

Comments

  • Leave it to the porn industry to use this same tech.  Don't ask me how I know this.  Remember, how the porn industry decided on VHS, despite its inferiority to BETA MAX.  If you wonder what video formats will prevail, and the above mentioned technology, just follow their lead.

  • How can a home user do this?  And while we're at it, how can I disable inPrivate (aka porn mode) on all my computers?

  • @dave - Some personal firewall/home security products have this type of functionality so the workaround detailed in the post could be used in a home setting as well.

    InPrivate settings can be accessed through tools, internet options, privacy. InPrivate browsing has to be turned on every time you open a new tab in IE so unless you are turning this on manually, InPrivate browsing is not on.

  • The video rollover feature is incredibly useful.

  • Also @dave, if you want to disable InPrivate mode, you can modify the EnableInPrivateMode registry key setting on the machine. There are some instructions on how to do this here:

      grandstreamdreams.blogspot.com/.../blocking-ie-8-mode-updated.html

    This can be set on a per-machine basis; standard (non-admin) users won't have the ability to change the setting. In an enterprise environment, this can be controlled via Group Policy. For families, I'm told that this setting will automatically be disabled on machines with Windows Live Family Safety installed (you can get this from http://download.live.com).

    Hope this helps,

    Tim

  • this is my first time here joining msn.so,tell me anything you guys know.

  • Seems pretty easy to disable... not that i would want to.

  • Why microsoft alwayz wants to make choices for d people.Let them do d job.Return all d results even if its adult content.why have data results opacity

  • What other adlt options do we have besides adlt=strict? Do we have adlt=off so to override cookie settings?

  • I love the smart motion preview feature, it saves a lot of video loading time and bandwidth as well.

  • Hi Mike,

    I must say I'm very disappointed with the fear mongering being spread by many news sites such as CNET and FOX.  I think the video preview feature is great - it's new, innovative, and it's hard to claim Microsoft "copied" it from anyone.

    On the other hand, I agree MS must do something quick before Bing becomes blocked in every corporate and K-12 environment.

    Would it not be possible to allow firewalls to rewrite Bing URLs with "&adlt=strict" on the fly?  Alternatively, what if Bing used a separate subdomain for unfiltered video searches?  (i.e.  videouf.bing.com) which could easily be blocked at the network level?

    I don't think the ability to access adult content should be cause for removal of this feature.  I hope that MS works with Internet safety companies to develop a solution that is safety-conscious but not censorship.

    FYI, although most kids are smart these days, I don't think it's necessary to notify the user that adult content has been blocked.  Alternatively, I think the popup to disable filtering should be replaced with a redirect to settings.aspx - it will at least make it easier to block overriding the filtering settings.

    I wish you and the Bing team the best of luck in solving this non-issue.

    Best,

    Mike aka Sharky

  • The video preview for Bing is great but its unacceptable for corporate and educational facilities.  Unfortunately, not many users will willingly add the extra text onto the end of a URL to enforce the strict search.

    My company has already blacklisted Bing as has five K-12 county school systems and several local companies.

    Microsoft really should have been able to envision this and provide for a group policy or something like that to force bing searches to return only safe results.

    Drew

  • The video preview for Bing is great but its unacceptable for corporate and educational facilities.  Unfortunately, not many users will willingly add the extra text onto the end of a URL to enforce the strict search.

    My company has already blacklisted Bing as has five K-12 county school systems and several local companies.

    Microsoft really should have been able to envision this and provide for a group policy or something like that to force bing searches to return only safe results.

    Drew

  • Video preview is a powerful feature. Does it respect copyright? Right now I begin to wonder... To explain: the huge marketing spend behind Bing and hence behind its video preview could be commercially damaging to all video content providers. My particular interest: technical and vocational education, for example combining "how to" videos with social networks and serious games (as part of what is called a "Competence 2.0" way to gain skills). Training companies put a lot of effort into being concise: producing short videos that capture key steps in business processes and vocational education. The same "how to" short-video market is being entered by makers of mobile phones that do not use Windows Mobile. Here's a scenario: they lose subscriptions or download income, because end-users can get the gist via a Bing preview that shows those key steps. Their loss of income is balanced by a rise in Bing's market share as it benefits from offering free access to others' materials. What does Microsoft offer by way of technical tools to protect third-party videos from unwanted Bing previews? If there are no tools, what does it propose as a way to mitigate any loss of income to copyright owners? It surely needs to do something, to avoid a Bing version of the Viacom-Google case (the claim there: that YouTube is "harnessing technology to wilfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale").