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Yahoo Answers, an internet icon for terrible Q&As, will be shut down forever

I’m a little bit bummed out that Yahoo Answers is planning to shut down completely on 4 May 2021, but I’m also not that surprised. That part of Yahoo has become kind of a relic and a source for laughs now.

According to Yahoo, they will start making Yahoo Answers a “read-only” site on 20 April—meaning no-one will be able to post any new questions or answers. It will then be completely shut down on 4 May.

However, they stress that this will not affect your Yahoo account, and there will be “no changes to other Yahoo properties or services”. And if you want to request your data from the site, you’ll only have until 30 June this year before it becomes completely inaccessible. But you won’t be able to download other users’ content, questions, or answers.

“We launched Yahoo Answers sixteen years ago to help people around the world connect and share information… While Yahoo Answers was once a key part of Yahoo’s products and services, it has become less popular over the years as the needs of our members have changed,” wrote Yahoo to the Yahoo Answers community, “To that end, we have decided to shift our resources away from Yahoo Answers to focus on products that better serve our members and deliver on Yahoo’s promise of providing premium trusted content.”

If you visit the homepage now, you’d find that it’s filled to the brim with questions made by American conservatives. The Yahoo questions include stuff like “Will America survive 4 years of Joe Biden?”, “True or false YA is shutting down because democrats and young people today want to end freedom of speech?” and “Will liberals cry when Trump wins in 2024?”.

Yahoo Answers is also the source of content for my favourite podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me“—an advice show where they sometimes take a few silly questions from the site and fully turn them into goofs. The site shutting down feels like it will be an end of an era.

The platform has been operating since 2005, and is one of the longest-running and most storied web Q&A platforms in the history of the internet. But now that it’s kind of turned into a club for far-right Americans rather than it’s intended “community-based” area for everyone to ask questions, I think it’s best for Yahoo to put it down for good.

In 2020, Yahoo got rid of its Yahoo Groups—a free-to-use system of electronic mailing lists. It was also removed because it has “seen a steady decline in usage over the last several years”.

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