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You may recall the kerfuffle when TTAG reported that Google’s shopping section removed firearms and firearms-related products. [NB: After consulting with our far-flung Armed Intelligentsia, I reckon Google’s ban is regional. Red state, blue state?] Just a quick heads-up: same deal at Bing, only worse. Microsoft’s minions don’t allow any firearms or firearms-related advertising of any sort anywhere on their system. Here’s the skinny from disallowed content guidelines.

Weapons, knives, firearms, and ammunition

Advertising is not allowed that promotes firearms or weapons of any kind. Such content includes . . .

Knives as weapons

  • Knives that are positioned as weapons or whose primary use is violence, including switchblade knives, disguised knives, buckle knives, lipstick case knives, air gauge knives, knuckle knives, and writing pen knives.

Firearms, ammunition, and integral parts

  • Guns capable of firing a projectile by using an explosive charge; for example, rifles, shotguns, handguns, semi-automatic or automatic guns, potentially functional replicas or antiques, and blank guns.
  • Ammunition; for example, bullets and cartridges.
  • Integral parts, including magazines, stocks, trigger assemblies, hammers, pulls, firing pins, barrels, silencers, and converters.

Militia ordnance and grenades

  • Ordnance (military weaponry, ammunition, and related parts), even if the item is unserviceable or has been “demilitarized.”
  • Grenades, including metal military practice grenades, rifle grenades, dummy grenades, grenade launcher attachments, and mines.

Other weapons

  • Brass, plastic, or metal knuckles.
  • Leaded canes, staffs, crutches, or sticks.
  • Zip guns, sand clubs, saps, or blackjacks.

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  1. Well that was retarded of them. Plenty of people (myself included) who hate Bing and never use it switched to using Bing Shopping after Google’s idiocy. Now I have no reason to ever go to Bing again. Brilliant move, Microsoft – intentionally losing ad revenue.

    • Exactly.

      I have never used Bing for anything prior to the Google issues. I even used to exclaim “Google it!!” to people at work that would ask questions about general stuff and I changed to “Bing it!!”. When people asked why I changed it was a prime opportunity to start some 2a education. Now I guess, I’ll have to find another source.

    • +100
      I never used Bing until Google gave the finger to gun owners. I even removed Google from my list of search engines in Firefox. Replaced regular searches with StartPage and added a custom Bing shopping search in Firefox. Now I’m removing that. Hopefully Amazon doesn’t do something equally as stupid. It’s not a search of sellers across the web, but at least I can usually find what I’m looking for there.

    • This seems to be restricted to ads only – i.e. the kind that Bing AdCenter serves on websites, including but not limited to Bing itself. Bing Shopping still lets you search for guns and ammo and shows many listings.

  2. Well, that’s gonna do something, what I don’t know…Maybe give me cause to use a different service for all of my shopping wants and needs… I guess I’ll have to start shopping at Walmart again…lol.

  3. Lets try to figure this out:

    I live in MN. Searching Google Shopping for ‘AR-15 lowers’ returns a bunch of results. This does not change if I am logged in or out of my account.

    (Also – the Google thing is moot, as it is about to go commercial, and therefore, most likely be shitty)

    • Mitchell Hislop: Interesting. I just tried “AR-15 lower” in Google shopping, and it returned a phone book of entries. Contrast that to my comment below where I tried “.223,” “.556,” and “Glock” and got nothing. “AR-15 magazine” and “AR-15 upper” also work, but “AR-15” alone does not.

      I think it’s because it’s pulling all the results for the word “lower” or “magazine” and then searching within those results for things that also have “AR-15,” and then displaying that double filtered set of results.

      Curious though.

  4. Interesting. The .gov can’t prohibit internet sales, but the search engines will stop advertising 2A related items. How will I ever find my favorite shops? Oh, yeah, I have them bookmarked. I guess the next thing will be for net providers to block the IP addresses of those online stores.

    • I guess the next thing will be for net providers to block the IP addresses of those online stores.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. It seems the more Americans wake up and smell the Second Amendment and start buying guns and being against unconstitutional gun control laws, the harder the media and big corporations scream that guns are bad and no one should so much as look at them.

  5. I’ve never used the shopping section of Google or any part of Bing for that matter, (I’ve always found it cumbersome) but just because they pissed me off with their pompous paternalistic attitudes, I now use the Ixquick search engine.

  6. While I do a LOT of shopping (when I do shop) online, I’ve never used “Google Shopping.” I didn’t even know it existed until the kerfuffle about firearms items.

    Just now I did a search for “Glock magazines” on Google Shopping. Plenty of results!

  7. Realize, this is ONLY for advertisement. You can still search.

    Nothing stops the various internet web providers from associating web keywords that will bring them to their link.

    Also, Google and Bing et al will still web crawl so you can STILL search. This impacts ads only.

    And while these companies are private and can do whatever they want, Google is and its founders are very LEFT leaning and stump for Obama and Microsoft is changing due to SOCIAL MEDIA (read political) pressure. The anti-gun groups see this as a huge win.

    As with all such things, when there is a void in the market, that void will soon be filled. All we need is some gun loving geeks back by some investors who are also gun loving to create a gun search engine.

    If you guys recall, is trying to do just that. My only issue with these guys is that they only seem to return results for paid ads versus returning both and putting the paid ads on top like other search engines.

    What would be nice is if all the companies that can no longer advertise would throw their support to Genspec or others like

    Really, it makes no difference over time the void will be filled as long as there is demand and money to be made.

    The interesting thing here is, if this is in any way a 1st amendment issue because they don’t seem to ban sex toy advertisement nor porn but just guns soooo. How far can they go with censorship?

    • Hi Pascal,

      I’d like to thank you for your support on the matter. However, I do just need to clarify that all retailers on GunSpec at this time (with the exception of affiliated retailers and one direct retailer) are uploading their product catalogs at no cost while in GunSpec v1.0. The current product order you see right now is simply based on low/high product price. The featured product listings at the top are just product highlight tools that the retailers can use to help enhance their presence. A retailer can turn any of their products into “featured listings” which ensures placement somewhere at the top of the search results. This will be going away in v2. Since the site is growing with products, things are getting a bit unorganized which is one of the reasons we decided to move forward with v2.0. We expect it to be released early September (might be on track for end of August), retailers will be using a new cost/bid format. The advantage is that retailers will have flexibility and control over their budgets, they can focus where they want to spend, and provides a way to gauge the overall value of their campaigns. From the users perspective, the product order would be based on the highest bids in that category but the search result presentation will be cleaner. The retailers entire catalog will still be searchable. However, we’re changing the display formats to accommodate more real estate for products that didn’t make the top placement. You’ll also be able to expand your display to accommodate more product results in one viewing. Finally, in a later release we’re working on a way to bring “unpaid” results into the picture as well using a a web crawler.

      I’ve included a preview of one of our v2.0 shopping results page. Please keep in mind this is an unpolished “mock up design” and may not make sense as far as content. From a design perspective, it will give you a better indication of how the results page will look.

    • Yahoo and Bing are the same — have been for some time but Yahoo does have several gun related shops that are Yahoo stores

  8. Well, it was a short-lived search romance with Bing, after irreconcilable differences with Google.

    I’m on to

    • I really like the privacy aspect of duckduckgo, but dislike the fact it draws it’s results from other search engines (including bing).

      A lot of people claim extremely similar search results (rankings) on duckduckgo and bing. In any case, if it effectively diverts traffic/ad revenue away from MS I’m all for it. I doubt it’s really going to put a dent in their revenue stream, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that (I think) I’m contributing less to their profits.

  9. Interesting hypothesis: somebody in an area where Google has blacked out weapons do this. In Google shopping, change the search near location to Chamblee, GA 30329, might be Atlanta, but see if you get results. Then we’ll know if they did the blackout by search location or IP location.

    I found my Adams arms upper through Google shopping about two weeks after it was posted here. Major curiosity on my part if you other guys could bypass their blockade.

    • I just searched for ‘ar lower’ and changed ‘my location’ using zip codes from TX, LA, GA and NY and received positive Google Shopping results for all. My IP is in Dallas, TX. I guess I’m not blocked.

    • I tried it searching just for “ar-15” and “glock” but it won’t go through. “ar-15 lower” does though, but it will go through with my normal location (Houston TX). So it must be by IP.

  10. Kelly in GA: I’m in Orlando, and I tried your zip code in Google Shopping. Still returned no results. I searched for “5.56 ammunition,” “.223 ammunition,” and “Glock.”

    Note that at present, this is not the same as what Google did. Google disallowed firearms from advertising anywhere on their site, but also from selling through Google Shopping. Bing’s statement is that you can’t advertise firearms or related materials. They do not appear to have discontinued the ability to sell ammunition or firearms through their “Shopping” feature, or if they have, it hasn’t yet percolated to my region.

    • I see. I guess the Google bit is definitely an I.P. block. Thanks for the clarification.

  11. we need to vote out obama as he said you didn’yt create the internet….the gub-ment did…well that answers alot of questions on why 1 by 1 this is happening….just a different angle to get there message across…

  12. I use google search in my regular internet browser. I had never heard of “google shopping” until the kerfuffle, and have noted no difference in the regular search function. I do also use Firefox sometimes, and that has a default search function of Yahoo–which is VERY spotty in the results it returns, often coming up wit nothing whicle google has gads. I tried Bing once or twice when it first premiered, but its results sucked and I never went back.
    I guess I just don’t understand this “shopping channel” thing–I am just a good a filter as a machine.

  13. I use DuckDuckGo for my Internet searches. I’ve received great results and they allegedly do not, unlike google, keep records of your search terms and logs of the sites you have visited.

  14. It’s because you guys are on the wrong side of this argument and you represent a small enough fringe that Google and Bing had a no-brainer of a decision to ban guns and bullets.

  15. I haven’t tried bing, but google works for things like part numbers or larger searches like AR lower. Thing like AR or Glock come up empty though. I am in CA.
    None the less filtering at all seems dumb if you ask me.

  16. As someone above mentioned. Google is not allowing any firearm related product to be found either in the google shopping search or with their advertising banners. BING is only blocking the advertisements, the Bing Shopping search will still bring up firearms and related products. Both search engines will still function just as they always have when doing a general search, its just more difficult if you’re using Google to specifically look to compare pricing, it won’t return anything in shopping search.

  17. Well, this is just the start of it. They’ll go after gun stores next. Some arbitrary rule about being able to locate near a place when young people frequent (which is almost anywhere). And they will slowly close the noose. They’ll pressure Walmart into not selling guns and ammo through zoning laws. We elected these people, so we only have ourselves to blame. The liberal democrats and the “moderate” republicans who react to every gun violence story as if a law abiding citizen went out with a gun and began slaughtering innocents, or worse yet, as if the gun did it all by itself. Don’t let your liberal colleagues use the argument about “why would you need this particular weapon or that. The second amendment protects individual citizens’ rights to keep an bear arms. Not for hunting, but for protection. And that protection may be from lawbreakers in the private sector, or it could (and currently is) in our own government. Our own government forces gun dealers to sell weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and we’re not supposed to be allowed to buy a semi-automatic riflle that can fire 100 rounds without reloading? Give me a break!

  18. Of all of the knuckle headed things to do ,Well ladies and gentlemen Orwell,s book has come to life .The communist and socialists have won more battles against American freedoms they are slowly slipping away with every new idea on how to keep the population down. OK America it,s time to WAKE UP .everybody might want to look at the Arab spring they got tired of a lot of things and they are fighting to make changes .

    • You’re not going to notice the ban on Bing, because it only pertains to the ads that they run. In other words, they will no longer show you any ads for guns or ammo. However, you can still use the search engine itself for those things, including Bing Shopping.

      On Google, the ban is limited to Google Shopping. It will find the webpages just fine, but if you switch to product search (it’s under “More” on that black bar on top), you’ll see that it now gives you zero results for searches like “AR-15”.

      Here’s a couple links for comparison:
      Google Shopping
      Bing Shopping

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