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Why did Microsoft censor images of China’s ‘tank man’? Utah’s Mitt Romney wants answers.

Search engines showed no results when people searched for the protesters who stared down Red Army troops on Tiananmen Square anniversary.

FILE - In this June 5, 1989, file photo, a Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Cangan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. Thousands of students demonstrated for democracy in Tiananmen Square. Hundreds died when the government sent in troops. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener, File)

Sen. Mitt Romney wants Microsoft to explain why it censored images in the United States that China doesn’t want people to see.

He’s talking about “tank man,” the famous image of an unidentified protester standing in front of the tanks that rolled into Tiananmen Square in Beijing in June 1989 before the government snuffed out an uprising by attacking its own people.

When users of such search engines as Bing and DuckDuckGo typed in “tank man” on June 4, the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy advocates, no images came up.

Microsoft blamed that on “accidental human error” but didn’t give any details.

Romney wants the details.

The Utah Republican sent a letter Tuesday to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, that said, “the possibility that the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship would be extended to the United States by an American company is unacceptable.” His letter was first reported by CNN.

Microsoft operates its Bing search engine in China and follows Chinese law that censors search terms, including “tank man.”

Romney wants to know if China’s Communist leaders ordered Microsoft to censor terms before or during June 4 and, generally, what the company has agreed to censor.

He also wants answers to how the “accidental human error” occurred, and he wants to know the steps Microsoft will take to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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