Yahoo Answers to end as Trump fans see plot to “silence conservatives”

Illustration of a question mark and exclamation point on a wooden floor, leaning against a wall.

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Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4, 2021, the Verizon-owned Yahoo announced this week. The 16-year-old question-and-answer service will enter read-only mode on April 20, preventing users from posting new questions or answering other users’ questions, Yahoo said. On the May 4 shutdown date, the website will no longer be accessible, and the URL will redirect to the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo said. No other Yahoo services are affected by this announcement.

Just why people still use Yahoo Answers is a question that probably lacks a satisfying answer. One Ars colleague suggested that I format this article “as a question followed by a bunch of poorly written responses that don’t quite answer the question.” Instead of that, let’s take a look at some of the recent questions that have risen to the top or near the top of the Yahoo Answers homepage.

The shutdown announcement prompted anger from people asking if Yahoo Answers is being “shut to silence conservatives” and for recommendations of other sites that post “the truth regarding the left’s degeneracy.” Another asked whether former President Donald Trump should buy Yahoo to prevent the shutdown. Others wanted to know whether the US can survive Biden’s presidency and whether Democrats will ever “admit” that the election was rigged (it wasn’t).

Recent questions listed on the homepage include:

  • “Will America survive 4 years of Joe Biden?”
  • “Can you point me to another site like yahoo answers where I can post about the truth regarding the left’s degeneracy and ruining of the USA?”
  • “Will liberals cry when Trump wins in 2024?”
  • “I think George Floyd died from HEALTH ISSUES?”
  • “Should Trump buy Yahoo immediately to prevent Answers from being shut down?”
  • “Why do I need ID to buy firearm if I do t need one to vote?”
  • “Why does Joe stutter so much like a retard and looks older than the tales from the crypt keeper?”
  • “Closing of ‘Yahoo! answers’ means ‘once again we lost freedom of speech’?”
  • “Why do Donald Trump and Republicans hate minorities and love white supremacists?”
  • “Is Yahoo Answers being shut to silence conservatives?”
  • “As Yahoo! Answers prepares to shut down, how will conservatives spin the decision as an attempt to censor only conservatives?”
  • “70,000,000 people voted for Trump. They can’t all be stupid, can they?”
  • “Do you agree with liberals who say Florida will be under water by 2050?”
  • “Will Democrats ever admit that the election was rigged?”
  • “Will Trump’s new social media platform host a Q&A so we can keep the dialogue going? And will comments to news stories return?”

There was also one “question” falsely claiming that only 1.4 million Jews died in the Holocaust instead of the generally accepted estimate of 6 million.

shut down Yahoo Groups in 2019 and deleted everything after giving users a chance to download their own content.

Anyone who wants to download their Yahoo Answers content must make a request using the instructions available at this link by June 30. Yahoo said that “it can take up to 30 days to receive your content download.” The data will be provided in JSON format.

“Where should I go when I have questions in the future?” is one of the questions Yahoo posed and answered in its FAQ about the shutdown. The FAQ suggested visiting Yahoo Search “for answers and information from the web” or the Yahoo COVID page for “specific info and resources around the Coronavirus pandemic.”

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