Thursday, February 29, 2024

Why Quora Isn’t Useful Anymore

Nitish Pahwa (via Hacker News):

Today’s Quora, however, hardly meshes with those utopian aims. The once-beloved forum is now home to a never-ending avalanche of meaningless, repetitive sludge, filled with bizarre, nonsensical, straight-up hateful, and A.I.–generated entries along with a slurry of all-caps non-questions like “OMG! KING CHARLES SHOCK the WORLD with ROYAL BAN ON PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE. SAD?”


First, an anonymous former Quoran told me, the site started “shortening the length of questions.” The professed reason was to increase Quora’s visibility on Google, but that brevity came with a cost: It also made it difficult for users to ask the types of complex questions that could be addressed by specialists, including extremely specific business-related queries of the type Hanks would answer.


When Quora started putting ads on the site in 2016, Williams and other Top Writers suggested that there be some sort of creator revenue-sharing program, she told me. As a result, higher-ups created “the Quora partner program, which I joined myself,” Williams said. But that “was all about trying to come up with questions that would draw in more views and more people,” she said—not about incentivizing high-quality answers. It was all about adding webpages of individual questions, for SEO purposes.


To top it all off, after Quora began using A.I. to “generate machine answers on a number of selected question pages,” the site made clear the possibility that human-crafted answers could be used for training A.I.

Tyler Glaiel:

this is actually hilarious. Quora SEO’d themselves to the top of every search result, and is now serving chatGPT answers on their page, so that’s propagating to the answers google gives


its not fixed if you search “can you melt eggs” instead of “can you melt an egg”


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

small correction

Just a small correction—while the hateful post discussing tricking unwilling kids into taking transitioning medication is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen, it’s from Reddit I’m pretty sure, not quora. Unless I’m missing something, was there another thing on the page that was quora?

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