While perusing the web (yep, we do that a lot around here), I came across this amusing insight into the world of user-generated content on National Post. In it, Gene Weingarten discusses the relevance and accuracy of answers on a Yahoo! Answers.
What is Yahoo! Answers
you’ve no doubt heard of Yahoo!. Yahoo! Answers is the user-generated portion of the search engine that allows users to submit questions and answer other users’ questions. If you’ve ever Googled a question, it is likely that Yahoo! Answers comes near the top of responses. Why? Because there’s a ton of content on there.
So, What’s the Problem?
User-generated content is the future of the internet (perhaps – we’ll see what happens with SOPA). And some sites, like Wikipedia, have gained a reputation for having quality user-generated content. But, sites like Wikipedia allow for editing of content, weighing trusted contributors. Yahoo! Answers also has a peer-review system, though infinitely less robust. On Yahoo! Answers, readers vote for the answer they like best – no need for accuracy. And, as you can see in Weingarten’s article, the top-ranked answers need have no semblance of truthiness.
You can expect that there’s an answer to your question on Yahoo! Answers. Just don’t assume it’s accurate.