Insight: Saying goodbye to Yahoo Answers

'The legacy Yahoo Answers left was one of chaos and confusion, but I lived for the incredibly specific kind of help that can be difficult to find elsewhere'

On May 4, Yahoo Answers will be shutting down and deleting its archives, joining the ranks of Limewire and MySpace – other casualties of the internet age. 

I'll be the first to admit I will miss the "knowledge-sharing platform," which launched in 2005 and has become well known for its absurd, yet occasionally helpful questions and answers. 

For me, there was nothing that couldn't be solved under the site's comforting glow of white and purple. No matter how bored or confused I was, Yahoo Answers had a solution. 

It feels odd to say, but strangers online provided me with some of my favorite content on the internet over the years. Despite users' potential real-life worries, I loved seeing them flock in crisis to Yahoo Answers, desperately trying to figure out if they were pregnant, or as some wrote "gregnant” and "pregante." 

The impact of this website was truly monumental — for many, it was a source for homework and life advice, healthy debate and memes. The site's reputation is chaotic to say the least, but its anonymity made it a judgment-free zone. 

Over the years, the internet liked to laugh at the digital wanderers who found solace on Yahoo Answers. 

But nothing was too ridiculous to ask because chances are, it had already been asked. If you wanted to know whether or not to invest in cryptocurrency or if the Queen of England can remarry, someone on Yahoo Answers had your back. 

For some, Yahoo Answers was a haven for like-minded students to communicate with each other on difficult topics for various academic subjects.

Yoga Sastriawan, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, said he was sad to see a community that took the same classes as he does disappear — a community that has helped him immensely throughout his major. He said the benefit of Yahoo Answers was that he could get specific help on concepts and equations, rather than unethically sourcing homework answers from platforms such as Chegg.

Aside from school-based questions, the website specialized in answers to anything, no matter how unique.

Divya Ganesan, a freshman studying biomedical engineering, said she will miss the "the security blanket" of Yahoo Answers. She said although she knows other platforms have a Q&A format to ask questions, remaining anonymous was helpful.

In its youth, Yahoo Answers was a treasure trove of information. 

Whenever I was seeking advice, there was without a doubt someone in my exact situation seeking the same answer. And from that one query, I would be led down a rabbit hole that I had no business being invested in. 

I could have been looking to see why My Chemical Romance had broken up, and an hour later I would end up on questions for parenting advice. This website fostered sheer curiosity inside and encouraged my need to leave no stone unturned. 

Now, if I need to know something, I will not be happy until I’ve found an answer. And I thank Yahoo Answers for my persistence.  

Yahoo Answers could answer everything, and once it had done that, there would be another debate, another question and another hyper-specific situation in need of a solution. Louis Moon, a freshman studying biomedical engineering, said while some of this information can be found elsewhere, the site's accessibility was one of its strengths.

“For (Yahoo Answers), to get rid of a whole forum is kind of sad to see because it’s almost like burning down the Library of Alexandria in a way — it’s a lot of information just gone now,” Moon said.

Yahoo made its mark in making the internet more accessible, but after 15 years, its Q&A format has lost its steam. 

Now, even having a Yahoo email address seems old-fashioned. While Yahoo Answers may no longer be in vogue, I can say with 100% certainty I will miss this beautiful mess of a website. 

The legacy Yahoo Answers left was one of chaos and confusion, but I lived for the incredibly specific kind of help that can be difficult to find elsewhere.


Reach the reporter at sbalas44@asu.edu and follow @sophiabala1101 on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter. 

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.

×

Notice

This website uses cookies to make your expierence better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.