| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Goodbye, Yahoo Answers: One of the internet’s longest-running Q&A platforms is shutting down on May 4

Question: Do you think humans will ever walk on the Sun?

Answer: Well, if they do, it would have to be at night.

That’s the kind of nonsense discussion that will go missing from our computer screens when Yahoo‘s 16-year-old question-and-answer platform, Yahoo Answers, shuts down on Tuesday, May 4.

For now, there are two weeks left before it turns into a read-only website on Tuesday, April 20, according to an announcement on its homepage.

“There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account,” users are assured.

The statement also directs people to its frequently asked questions  for more information, where the company says requests to download content or data must be made before June 30.

Data that can be downloaded includes all of your own user-generated content such as questions, answers and any images. People cannot download other users’ content, Yahoo says.

This process can take up to 30 days.

Why is Yahoo Answers shutting down?

One of the reasons it’s shutting up shop is because “it has become less popular over the years as the needs of our members have changed”, according to a note sent to members of Yahoo Answersand shared by technology news website The Verge.

“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,” says Yahoo, which has been owned by Verizon Media Group since 2017.

It is unlikely that the site will be particularly missed. As The Verge says, “perhaps the shutdown is for the best, considering the site appears to be overrun with far-right conspiratorial garbage”.

Considering one of the more popular discussion threads on there is titled “Was Stalin right about everything?”, maybe they’re right.