The Bing team is continually at work to shape and mold the search engine into a flexible and reliable utility for users. From changes to layout and design to algorithms and knowledge graphs, the Bing team continues to pour resource after resource into Bing to stay competitive and trustworthy.
Continuing that note, the Bing team announced today the inclusion of pharmaceutical warnings to customers. With the proliferation of users heading online to symptom check and self-diagnose, online pharmacies have inevitably grown in popularity as well. Unfortunately, a lot of online pharmacies are engaging in illegitimate practices as well as the sale of illegal pharmaceuticals to unsuspecting customers. Bing’s new warnings have been put in place to help Bing users make the best-informed decision they can.
According to the Bing team the rollout of warnings, “will appear if a Bing user clicks on a pharmaceutical site that has been cited by the FDA as a fake online pharmacy engaged in illegal activity, such as offering potentially dangerous, unapproved and misbranded prescription drugs to U.S. consumers.” The warnings will be issued using the FDA’s regularly updated public list of sites.
For current Bing users, the warnings work similarly to how Bing warns of sites that harbor malware. Users are not prohibited from visiting the sites, but they will be given information about the risks of visiting the site as well as links to resources for safer online pharmacies.
Since it is a rollout, and Bing is working on its expansion into other markets, understandably, not everyone will see the warnings. The Bing team does note, “The list of online pharmaceutical sites for which we are providing warnings will grow and evolve. We will continue to refine our efforts in this area and look for more opportunities to help our users make more well-informed decisions as additional, highly-reliable sources of information become available to us.”Further reading: Bing, FDA, Microsoft