Microsoft's neglected search engine Bing - which commands a tiny 2.5 per cent share in the European Union, where Google dominates the market - has finally created a mechanism for netizens to submit requests to have certain links removed from its index.
It comes after a recent European Court of Justice ruling required search engine firms to kill links that are old, out of date or irrelevant and - significantly - found not to be in the public interest.
Google has kicked up a huge stink about the judgment and wrongly spread fear with claims that such a move amounts to censorship of the content the data-processing ad giant serves on its search index to the majority of the EU's 500-million-strong citizens.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has largely kept its powder dry on the ruling and stayed out of the utterly befuddled "right to be forgotten" row.
Which perhaps makes sense, given how few requests it had received in the early days of the judgment.
The Register understands that the shrink-wrapped software giant was - to say the least - underwhelmed by the response from its search engine users.
Just 12 people asked for links to be removed from Bing in the first few days after the ruling when Google had apparently received 12,000 requests and was telling anyone that would listen that the EU's highest court had broken the internet.
Microsoft's request form explains:
We may also consider other sources of information beyond this form to verify or supplement the information you provide. This information will help us to consider the balance between your individual privacy interest and the public interest in protecting free expression and the free availability of information, consistent with European law.
As a result, making a request does not guarantee that a particular search result will be blocked.
Like Google, Microsoft asks netizens to submit proof of ID when filling in the form. Unlike Google, Bing doesn't appear to be placing a blanket warning on its site to alert EU peeps to the fact that some results may be hidden because of the ECJ ruling. ®