Yahoo Answers, a Haven for the Confused, Is Shutting Down

Yahoo Answers, a Haven for the Confused, Is Shutting Down
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Yahoo Answers, a Haven for the Confused, Is Shutting Down

Yahoo Solutions, a Haven for the Confused, Is Shutting Down

At instances on Yahoo Solutions, the folks asking questions of strangers lunged for the hallucinatory limits of human curiosity: What would a heaven for elephants be like? Ought to scientists give octopi bones?

It helped folks establish their sense of self: Why do folks with baguettes suppose they’re higher than me? Is being widespread in highschool a good ability I can use in a job interview?

It sought explanations for the unexplainable: Smoke coming from my stomach button? Why is all the things at my grandma’s home moist?

And it gave air to gaps in data and admissions that maybe had nowhere else to go: What does a hug really feel like?

Yahoo, which is owned by Verizon Media, might be shutting down the question-and-answer service and deleting its archives on Could 4, erasing a nook of the web that might be broadly remembered for its — to be charitable — less-than-enriching contributions to human data since its arrival in 2005.

Much less charitably, BuzzFeed Information this week known as it “one in all the dumbest locations on the web.” Vulture mentioned it was “populated completely with Batman villains, aliens pretending to be human, and that one bizarre neighbor you’d slightly climb down your hearth escape in a blizzard than get caught in a dialog with.”

There may be loads of proof for that place. Folks requested: Are you able to milk Gushers to make fruit juice? Can I prepare dinner uncooked rooster in the Michael wave? I forgot when my job interview is? What animal is Sonic the hedgehog? IS THIS YAHOO EMAIL SUPPORT?

Most famously, in a query that launched a meme, a confused soul who had discovered little about reproductive science or spelling requested: How is babby shaped?

It was by no means identified what number of of the questions have been primarily based in earnest ignorance and curiosity, and the way a lot was intentional trolling. Answering required no experience, and infrequently displayed little of it.

However the website clearly was seen by some folks, together with kids, as a comfy area to ask the questions — generally essential ones — they’d by no means dare to ask buddies, households and academics.

“Yahoo Solutions was a place for folks to place questions they have been too embarrassed to ask the folks they knew in actual life,” mentioned Justin McElroy, a co-host of the comedy podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” which has featured questions from the service since 2010. “The bizarre, the dumb, the actually, actually demented: All of it discovered a place on Yahoo Solutions.”

Drew Davenport, a 34-year-old in Camarillo, Calif., who for seven years sifted by inquiries to undergo the podcast, mentioned folks advised him they genuinely used the service to get by struggles at college, or to obtain a sexual schooling they weren’t getting elsewhere.

That’s to not say the solutions they acquired have been good ones.

“Do you keep in mind the thought of the web that individuals talked about earlier than it was actually main?” he requested. “The concept that like this was going to be a world assembly place for the alternate of concepts in a free approach?”

He answered: “Yahoo Solutions is what we feared would occur. You bought actual human response, for higher or for worse.”

The service misplaced its extensive reputation in recent times, and there are extra rivals now than there have been when it was created. Quora positions itself as extra of a intellectual community that’s extra prone to entice an skilled response, and Reddit options a discussion board that invitations folks’s idle curiosity to roam free.

Yahoo, in a letter to customers, mentioned it had “determined to shift our sources away from Yahoo Solutions to deal with merchandise that higher serve our members and ship on Yahoo’s promise of offering premium trusted content material.”

Questions and solutions might be halted on April 20, and might be wiped off the web on Could 4. It’s not the first time Yahoo and different tech corporations have killed off once-popular merchandise with out the advantage of archiving; 20 years of content material posted to Yahoo Teams was deleted in 2019, the similar 12 months Flickr deleted 15 years of photographs.

Mr. McElroy mentioned he wasn’t certain what the podcast would do with out its bountiful pool of dialogue prompts. When the present started in 2010, they used Yahoo Solutions inquiries to pad out submissions from listeners, he mentioned.

Whereas a few of the questions struck him as efficiency artwork, and others appeared like a lazy refusal to go looking for solutions, he mentioned he was sympathetic to a lot of the folks asking. All of us have some dangerous questions within us, he mentioned.

“I believe you get into hassle if you suppose no precise individual could be questioning that, as a result of folks surprise about numerous issues,” he mentioned. “You don’t need to put limits on the depths of humanity’s curiosity-slash-ignorance.”

Though Yahoo is not going to archive the questions, enterprising web customers have cataloged some for posterity. The next are a small collection of greater than 1,700 questions which were featured on Mr. McElroy’s podcast:

Did troopers in the American Revolution ever take off their shirts/coats off throughout battles?

What number of energy are there in cleaning soap?

What if someday the cows combat again?

Do planes transfer quick or gradual?

get a haircut just like Joseph Stalin with out displaying the woman who cuts my hair a image of Joseph Stalin?

I unintentionally ate the Do Not Eat packet inside my shoe field. Am I gonna die?

In the TV present Mates what was the level of Ross?

I don’t suppose I’ve ever seen a toucan?

Me and my pal each utilized for the similar job. He acquired the job however I didn’t. Can I sue Papa Johns?


What do Canadians obtain?

How do u eat a scorching canine in a fancy approach?

How DEEP inside an apple is the Most diet?

Why do folks from New Jersey ski of their denims?

Ought to spaghetti be approach shorter?

make your mother and father suppose you discovered a lizard although you acquire it on-line?

Why doesn’t the Grand Canyon have rides?

Why can’t we develop burger in tree?

Are you all conscious that we’re the laughingstock of the Web?

DID ANYBODY HAVE SEX in the Nineties. did it really feel totally different from now?

I Like Area and Dinosaurs?

Can I convey frozen pizzas in my keep on or maintain in hand?

Did dragons dwell earlier than, throughout, or after dinosaurs?

Women, I convey my guitar nearly all over the place to impress girls, does this work?

Why there isn’t a beef nuggets?

My boyfriend gave me a 60 depend field of waffles for Christmas. He appeared so enthusiastic about it however I don’t need to damage his emotions?

How previous do I’ve to be to get nunchuks?

I kissed a man a 12 months in the past is his spit nonetheless in my mouth?

Eel assist! Has he gone loopy?


How do folks on Jeopardy know the solutions?

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