Before Reddit’s Am I the Asshole? forum for the “frustrated moral philosopher”, or days-long Twitter debates about whether you wash your legs in the shower, there was Yahoo Answers: one of the first online crowdsourcing resources, now a repository of infamously idiosyncratic wisdom.
Established in 2005, the “knowledge-sharing” platform was where you might turn for help with a head-scratcher such as “How do I get black ink from a Biro out of coloured clothes?”, “What documents do you need to enter China?” or “Any ladies want to show me their boobs?”.
For a formative period of internet history, Yahoo Answers was the go-to for those queries that are too embarrassing to ask in person, and too complex to answer by search. Some – such as “Do you think humans will ever walk on the sun?”, “If you die in Canada do you die in real life” and “How is babby formed? How girl get pragnent?” – became enshrined as early memes.
Yahoo Answers’ blockbuster success was such that even Google was forced to admit defeat, closing its own Answers platform in 2006 after only four years.