Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Banned again, but a pattern begins to emerge

My third test account, lagon.dupri, has been "Suspended" from Yahoo Answers.

Date: 10 Oct 2007 06:25:08 -0700
From: "Yahoo! Answers "
Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by Learn more
Subject: Yahoo! Answers Suspension Notice

Hello Lagon D(lagon.dupri)

You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your account has been suspended.

If you feel you were not in violation, please contact our Customer Care and tell us why.

Yahoo! Customer Care

I'd answered a mere two questions before my most recent suspension. Since this suspension followed my last post so closely, it's probably safe to assume that it was the Cold War related comment that got me suspended. I can think of a few possible explanations:

1. I was banned because of the political content. Given the rather dry, politically moderate nature of my comment, this only makes sense if Yahoo Answers is actively discouraging political discussion that doesn't lean towards the extreme left or extreme right.

2. A group of Yahoo Answers users got together and "reported' my comment, which resulted in a suspension without any review by a human moderator. This makes the most sense if the person who posted the question decided to use it to cheat on their homework and wanted to remove the online evidence before turning it in. I consider this option rather unlikely.

3. Yahoo Answers has found this Blog and is Suspending my accounts based on the information I'm posting. This would be a petty, punitive attempt to silence their critics.

4. My answer was too "wordy" or "Complicated" for the what Yahoo Answers considers appropriate. In other words they've started kicking all the "eggheads."

Please feel free to comment below if you have any ideas about why this most recent account was suspended.

Naturally I'm not going to stop here. My curiosity is piqued and I won't let this go until I know WHY these accounts keep being deleted. To this end, I'm going to try to eliminate each of the possibilities above.

The most obvious step is to remain silent about the activities of a given account until such time as it's suspended. I'll write up the same posts, but I'll leave them as drafts until the Yahoo account is suspended.

Next, I'll stop checking the old accounts from the same computer. Hell, I'll actually delete some of the old accounts, as there's no real reason to keep them hanging around. Yahoo Answers "Customer Care" has yet to respond with anything useful or informative so there's no real reason to keep the old accounts around.

Finally, I'm only going to post the same mindless, unimaginative, two sentence or less answers favored by the other posters to Yahoo Answers.

Don't worry though, this Blog isn't about to go silent. I'm still going to post about some of the idiotic, mindless questions and answers that survive Yahoo's obtuse moderation process.

1 comment:

HV said...

I was also banned from Yahoo Answers! I consider myself a nice person, and I did not answer any questions in a way that would violate any rules. In fact, I was very kind and gave reasonable answers that were backed by research. My answers were all about a short paragraph in length - enough to answer the questions without going into great detail. The only thing I can think of is that when someone asked for a product suggestion, I gave a brand name - but that seems odd that I would be banned for just that. I also did not read it in any of the rules. I wrote to Yahoo Answers to appeal the suspension and I asked why, since they gave me absolutely no reason, and I got a response back stating simply that they have determined that the suspension is permanent. I don't get it. This makes me want to never use anything Yahoo-related again. I'm all Gmail & Google now! If Yahoo can't explain to me why they are going to close my account - then forget them. They will soon lose their reputation for treating their members so poorly. By the way, did I mention I feel cheated?? Thanks for letting me vent on your site =)