Yahoo Answers ends May 4th and has no plans to provide an archive of the site's 16 year old content.
A notice at the top of every Yahoo Answers page informs users of the impending shutdown. It is reading:
“Yahoo Answers will be closed on May 4, 2021 (Eastern Time) and the Yahoo Answers website will be read-only on April 20, 2021 (Eastern Time). No changes will be made to any other Yahoo property or service, or to your Yahoo account.”
The notice directs users to a help page that contains more information about the shutdown.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind:
- 20th of April: New content cannot be added to Yahoo Answers, but users can still read existing content.
- May 4th: Yahoo Answers is no longer available. The answers.yahoo.com website directs users to the Yahoo home page.
- June 30th: On the last day, users can request a download of their own data.
Users can only download an archive of content they have contributed to Yahoo Answers. After submitting a request, it can take up to 30 days for Yahoo to compile the data and make it available for download.
Read on below
Yahoo doesn't mention anything about making an archive of all website content available for viewing after May 4th, and people aren't happy about that.
A viral tweet compares the Yahoo Answers shutdown to the historic burning of the Alexandria Library:
The story isn't "Yahoo Answers Sucked Anyway". The story is that American Tech would burn the Alexandria library to death if their lawyers and accountants told them they weren't making any more money. A notice period of one month is an insult. Underfunded archivists don't even get a data dump. pic.twitter.com/mHFRDgP8RF
– 🐶🆒 (@AriaSalvatrice) April 6, 2021
This Twitter user mentions that the decision to close Yahoo Answers was due to poor performance by the service.
Yahoo doesn't mention this anywhere on their help page, but did say something about it in an email sent directly to Yahoo Answers members.
In the email it says:
“While Yahoo Answers was once 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've decided to turn our resources away from Yahoo Answers to focus on products that better serve our members and meet Yahoo's promise to provide top-notch trusted content. "
Read on below
Given that Yahoo Answers is being removed from the web in less than a month, web archivists likely don't have time to download the vast amount of content.
As TechCrunch's Josh Constine points out, the qualifications of content we're losing can be debated:
No! Yahoo will delete all Yahoo Answers. It's like burning down the stupid Alexandria library on the internet. We'd lose antiques like this one: pic.twitter.com/sepP0gejjZ
– Josh Constine – SignalFire (@JoshConstine) April 5, 2021
People share their favorite content from Yahoo Answers on Twitter, reminding us of the gems we no longer have access to.
I will miss yahoo answers very much pic.twitter.com/TSOYPYOhUh
– Ammnontet! (@ammnontet) April 5, 2021
yahoo answers is shutting down so i am here to make sure we remember this gem of a question. pic.twitter.com/5MK0LHG5ym
– ed (@edteix) April 5, 2021
Since Yahoo Answers was gone, I thought I would commemorate with my favorite picture from there pic.twitter.com/axDrmb4zwZ
– Retrotype (@Retronnity) April 6, 2021
rip yahoo answers you changed my life with this picture.twitter.com/BD5Z43qkhL
– Kermit Gulag (@startunnels) April 5, 2021
The beat question ever asked on Yahoo Answers pic.twitter.com/L9KbxRcysY
– James Halcrow (@james_hlcw) April 6, 2021
Yahoo Answers has become a source of great memes over the years. Although, as other users point out, Yahoo's deletion of 16 years of internet history is a real concern.
Memes aside, I'm surprised there isn't a more serious concern about Yahoo replies being removed. Regardless of their actual value, they essentially record two decades of Internet history with barely a month's warning and no concern about the actual archiving
– ⭐ Wish for a star ⭐ (@kisekisymphony) April 6, 2021
Enjoy the content on Yahoo Answers while it can still be viewed.
Sources: Yahoo, The Verge