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Bing and decide? How drab. Instead, you can now use the number-two search engine to embarrass your friends.

Microsoft’s search engine today introduced a feature called “Linked Pages” that encourages searchers to connect to Facebook and start linking search results to themselves.

Linked Pages, as they’re described, are all about helping people put their best face forward in search results, but a supplemental feature that gives (too much?) power to one’s Facebook friends could have the opposite effect. Once a person has enabled the Linked Pages feature they can go on to link any search listing to their Facebook friends.

A Bing Linked Pages search for “idiot,” for instance, will return the usual results but with “Link to me” or “Link to other friends” options. Then, with a simple click of the “Link to other friends” button, you could make possible the realization of the expression: If you look up [insert insulting word here] in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of [insert name of friend you want to punk].

And yes, I played prankster myself to test out the feature; you can see the rather successful fruits of my labor below (though I did “unlink” my buddy shortly after testing). For all of ten minutes, a search for my friend Ben on my Bing yielded the following result:

Of course, the feature was intended for good and is meant to be a way to help people show off the best online attributes of their friends (as explained in this video). Plus, users can always delete the links they don’t like after the fact. Still, the “Link to other friends” feature feels half-baked. It’s so easy to mess with that it almost begs the pernicious youngsters and pranksters among us to partake in a bit of afternoon tomfoolery.

Let’s hope your friends are all well-intentioned — or use Google.

Photo credit: mloberg


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