In 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker uses Bing to discover why he’s slowly morphing into a human spider. This rightfully earned him the ridicule of the internet at the time. “Who uses Bing?” they said. Well folks, it’s 2021 and Peter Parker might just be right. If Scott Morrison has anything to say about it, Bing will be the search engine of Australia’s future.
Talks with Google over the proposed Media Bargaining Code, which would see media outlets paid for their search traffic, haven’t gone smoothly. As recently as January 2021 the company was threatening to pull out of Australia entirely if the government refused to reconsider the terms of the Code.
This caused Prime Minister Scott Morrison to suggest Bing as a worthy alternative to Google’s monopoly. According to Morrison, Bing has the same capabilities as Google, and functions similar enough to place his faith in it.
In response to a question about the search engine’s viability posed at the National Press Club of Australia on Monday, Morrison responded: “I can tell you Microsoft’s pretty confident.”
The PM also discussed the need for media organisations to thrive beyond Google’s ecosystem, and indicated the government wouldn’t be adverse to a transition in search power. “Having a news environment in this country that is one that’s sustainable and is supported commercially, then this is vital to how democracies function,” he told reporters.
While the status of the Media Bargaining Code is currently up in the air, Morrison’s confidence in Bing isn’t unprecedented.
The Amazing Spider-Man was a vision of the future. Peter Parker warned us, and we should have listened.
Should talks continue as they have, the possibility of Bing becoming Australia’s primary source of search engine-based news is very real. We’ll just had to stay tuned to see what developments the future…. bings.
If rumours are to be believed, Andrew Garfield’s tech prophet (and part-time Spider-Man) will return in the MCU’s untitled Spider-Man 3 project scheduled for release in late 2021.
Whether he’s still using Bing in the future is a mystery likely to remain untouched by the film.