Verizon Media Group has announced it will shut down one of the Internet’s oldest web Q&A sites – Yahoo Answers – next month.
A message at the top of the Yahoo Answers website states that the platform will be moving to a read-only state on 20 April 2021, after which it will be completely shut down on 4 May 2021.
According to a report from The Verge, Yahoo has also sent active users of the platform a note which explained why it was being discontinued.
“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,” the note said.
“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,” it added.
This note and a link within the website’s message directs users to an FAQ page that provides further details on the shutdown timeline.
Once the website is in read-only mode, visitors will no longer be able to post new Yahoo Answers questions or answer other users’ questions.
Then, starting from 6:00 AM SAST on 4 May 2021, the site will no longer be accessible, with users instead being directed to the main Yahoo home page.
Those who wish to keep their content on the site including items like their Questions list, Questions, Answers list, Answers, and images will need to submit a request to download this before 30 June 2021.
It should be emphasised that this change is specific to Yahoo Answers, and will not impact Yahoo Accounts or any other Yahoo services.
Yahoo Answers legacy
Since its public launch in December 2005, Yahoo Answers has allowed visitors to submit questions asking for advice or opinions from fellow Internet users on a wide range of topics.
Users are able to upvote questions and answers to increase their visibility, a functionality which is intended to push the most valuable feedback to the top.
However, due to a lack of effective moderation on the part of Yahoo, the site has become a haven for Internet trolls.
It has been inundated with bizarre, funny, and offensive questions and answers, meaning it is often viewed as a source of comedy, rather than a platform for sound advice or robust debate.