January 27, 2009

Yahoo! Answers Suspends ThinkSmarter

I have never been a big fan of Yahoo! Answers. I really like the idea of people sharing their knowledge (why else would I write a blog?) but a lot of the information there is misguided, or just plain wrong. Unlike Wikipedia or other free, user submission based information sources, the info at Yahoo! Answers is unedited and unfiltered, and too often, what people say is taken as fact, and that is the end of it.

So a few nights ago I decided that rather than complaining, I thought I would do something about it. I created a yahoo account, and I browsed the technology section looking for questions that had gone unanswered but were asked numerous times. The most commonly asked question was about Antivirus 2009 removal. I decided to write a blog about how to remove the software. I then went to each thread, and posted a link to the instructions explaining that the link was a blog about how to remove it. I also went through and answered several other questions that people had about things I happen to know. In total, I answered 15-20 questions. By morning, 1 had been voted best answer in the thread, and I was happy, because that meant I had helped someone.

Last night, I went back and decided I wanted to answer more questions. I log in and I get a message saying my account has been banned! I email support thinking that maybe the number of posts in such a short time span was the cause, and hear back from them a few hours later. This was their response:

"We appreciate your inquiry about your suspension from Yahoo! Answers and/or the deactivation of your Yahoo! ID. We reviewed your case, and decided that your account is not eligible for reinstatement.

Once an account is disabled for a violation of the Terms of Service, the subscriber to the account will lose the ability to log in and access the account and its contents (including email and content stored with any other Yahoo! service). The account also will not be reactivated.

Should you choose to create a new Yahoo! account, we invite you to read the Yahoo! Terms of Service and Yahoo! Community Guidelines to help ensure your new account is not deactivated."

I've inquired again as to why my account had been suspended, but have yet to hear back. I think it is ridiculous that Yahoo! has suspended my account for what I can only assume is helping too much. I guess its back to complaining about the service, since when I did try to help, they essentially told me to stop. Thanks Yahoo!

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