The Yahoo Answers website closes on May 4 with no plans to provide a 16-year archive of content.
A notice at the top of every page on Yahoo Answer notifies users of imminent shutdown. it reads:
“Yahoo Answers is closing on May 4, 2021 (Eastern Time) and Yahoo Answers website will be in read-only mode starting on April 20, 2021 (Eastern Time). There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account.“
The notice takes users to a help page that provides more information about the shutdown process.
Here are some important dates to know about:
- 20 April: No new content can be contributed to Yahoo Answers, but users can continue to read existing content.
- 4 May: Yahoo Answers will no longer be accessible. The website answer.yahoo.com will redirect users to the Yahoo homepage.
- 30 June: On the last day users can request to download their own data.
Users can only download a collection of content that they have contributed to Yahoo Answers. After submitting a request, it may take up to 30 days for Yahoo to compile the data and download it.
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Yahoo does not mention anything about providing a collection of all site content for viewing after May 4, and people are not happy about it.
A viral tweet comparing the closure of Yahoo Answers to the historic burning of the Library of Alexandria:
The story is not “Yahoo Answers sucked anyway”. The story goes that American Tech would burn the library of Alexandria if their lawyers and accountants told them that it was no longer making money. One month’s notice is an insult. The underfield archivist will also not be given a data dump. pic.twitter.com/mHFRDgP8RF
– A (@AriaSalvatrice) 6 April, 2021
This Twitter user has mentioned that the service is being weakened by the decision to discontinue Yahoo Answers.
Yahoo makes no mention of it anywhere on its help page, but it did say something about the intent that is in the email sent directly to Yahoo Answers members.
The email states:
“While Yahoo Answers was an important part of Yahoo’s products and services, it has become less popular over the years as the needs of our members have changed. 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 reliable content. “
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Given that Yahoo Answers is being removed from the web in less than a month, web archivists do not have time to download vast amounts of content.
However, Josh Constein of TechCrunch points out, the merits of the material we’re missing can be debated:
No! Yahoo is going to destroy all Yahoo Answers. It is like burning the internet’s mindless library Alexandria. We will lose the antiques like this: pic.twitter.com/sepP0gejjZ
– Josh Constine – Signalfire (@JoshConstine) April 5, 2021
People are sharing the content of their favorite Yahoo Answers on Twitter, reminding us all about the gems that we will no longer have access to.
I will miss yahoo answers a lot pic.twitter.com/TSOYPYOhUh
– Ammantette! (@ Breastnuts) April 5, 2021
Yahoo is closing the answer so that here we can make sure that we remember this gem of a question pic.twitter.com/5MK0LHG5ym
– ed (@edteix) April 5, 2021
With Yahoo Answers being away, I figured I’d miss it with my favorite image from there as well pic.twitter.com/axDrmb4zwZ
– Retropotype (@Retronnity) 6 April, 2021
rip yahoo answers that you changed my life with this one pic.twitter.com/BD5Z43qkhL
– kermit gulag (@startunnels) April 5, 2021
The green answer that was ever asked on Yahoo’s answer pic.twitter.com/L9KbxRcysY
– James Halcrow (@james_hlcw) 6 April, 2021
Yahoo Answers became a source of great memories over the years. However, as other users are pointing out, Yahoo has erased 16 years of Internet history, causing real concern.
memes On the one hand I am surprised that there is not much real concern about Yahoo’s answers. Regardless of its actual value, they are essentially truncating the entire two decades of Internet history with a month of warnings and no worries to actually archive it.
– ise wish on a star ⭐ (@kisekisymphony) 6 April, 2021
Enjoy the content of Yahoo Answers while it can still be viewed.
Source: Yahoo, The Verge