The death of Yahoo! Answers is the death of a collegial vision of the Internet

The first question asked on Yahoo! Answers, after its public launch on Dec. 08, 2005, was: “How do I decide on a good magic set for children (about 8 years old)? Ideally, less than $50.” This is, at the very least, correct according to the collective wisdom of Yahoo! Answers itself.

No one knows what the last post will be before the service shuts down on May 4, for reasons Yahoo! has not spelled out. But if the past is any guide, the final question is likely to be along the lines of the most popular recent ones: “Will America survive 4 years of Joe Biden?” or “We have now seen way too much of what the Dimms want to do to America. When will the liberals admit they were wrong and stop this madness?”

In the origin and end of Yahoo! Answers—in the gap between that first question and the latest—lies the demise of the original vision of the Internet as one large, utopian community.

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