* The content quality has deteriorated significantly since the site's inception. The content is far cheaper than before and far less interesting in very obvious ways.
* Moderation systems have not done a good job of growing the site as a community. The site has lost the character that drew many people to it in the first place.
* The machine learning models terribly over-fit to user signals, creating a frustrating experience.
These 3 core issues with the site are what got me to gradually stop using it as someone who was initially an early adopter.
Edit: One of my biggest gripes with the platform is that it's always solicited a large number of promotional answers. Anytime I end up on Quora, I'm usually stuck scrolling through a long list of "Use my product, it's the best!" answers. It appears to make no effort to discourage or remove such content, and, for whatever reason, those answers tend to get heavily upvoted.
Q is better at "soft" knowledge - psychology, personal history, experience, opinion.
SE is better for "hard" knowledge - clearly-defined problems with specific solutions.
Having said that, I find SE very, very frustrating.
Given any problem, the answers invariably seem to include multiple takes with distracting or irrelevant side points; show-boating comments, often nit-picky, about very minor issues; just plain wrong answers that have been massively upvoted; no account of chronology - later answers always have fewer votes than older answers, even if they're better solutions; moderator show-boating with questions closed for no good reason (e.g. when dupes aren't really dupes.)
SE's problem is that accretion wins over refinement. IMO it should have been more like a Wiki, with a much clearer distinction between content - i.e. stock answers, with comments - and debate about content.
I enjoy my Quora feed, but I treat it more as entertainment. I wouldn't use it for anything mission critical. I actually agree with Q and not the WB comments - comments about private experiences or opinions are the property of the authors, not communal property, and authors should have the right to withdraw them.
Also - FB isn't archived either. Do the WB people have the same negative attitude to FB groups?
As for SE - sometimes I try to use SE for mission critical problems. Usually I get a few hints from the answers, then end up having to solve the problem independently.
It's not a bad idea to outline a different approach, but it's almost always better to first answer the question and then add your opinion afterwards. I've even seen questions where they poster will state "I'm not doing it the accepted way because..." and still see useless responses saying "You should do it this conventional way instead" etc.
I think this is just a negative of having a points reward system that encourages answer sniping. However, without a points system you'd see far less content. I've accepted it as a necessary evil, and overall I'm pretty happy with the quality of SO content once you learn to filter out the nonsense.
> SE's problem is that accretion wins over refinement. IMO it should have been more like a Wiki, with a much clearer distinction between content - i.e. stock answers, with comments - and debate about content.
You can see the effect of this approach in many cases where the community has tried to establish a "canonical" Q&A about some recurring topic, and it's frequently not pretty; every tangentially relevant detail that somebody thought to tell the world about gets edited in, and then never gets edited out. Unless somebody is willing to purge lots of users' contributions entirely (which they generally aren't), this one great beast of an answer just continues to grow and grow in scope, gradually losing any sort of coherent narrative or direct relevance to the question.
The failed Stack Overflow Documentation project failed in a similar way. Wikipedia articles about programming topics also seem to me to generally be tedious, confusing and riddled with inaccuracies.
The competition-based model that SE uses certainly has failure modes, but a more collaboration-based model also has failure modes - ones that I think are more serious and crippling.
There is also to much vote whoreing going on with people chipping in with non relevant answers. I wish I had a pound for every employment answer that mentions "right to work" when its not an American employment question.
"We never claimed that subjective questions were horrible abominations that should never be asked." https://stackoverflow.blog/2010/09/29/good-subjective-bad-su...
Probably had. The secret of SE’s success was the rigorous curation as encouraged via the gamification system, explicitly at the design of the site’s founders. Now there are various interpretations of their change in direction, but the quality has noticeably deteriorated for both questions and answers. There’s no sign of a credible rival right now but when one appears it will do to SE what SE did to ExpertsExchange overnight, and for the same reasons.
The only time I ever found the posts on quora valuable was when I was thinking about applying for one of the big tech companies and I wanted to know a bit about what the people who have worked there think about it. That kind of stuff would be off topic on Stack Exchange but thats also the reason why Quora is mostly junk because of a lack of quality control.
And I can't even thank him. Quora is much easier to assimilate into.
Ask a vague question on Quora, and you'll get a vague answer.
Ask a vague question on Stack Overflow, and you'll get downvoted along with comments to the order of, "You haven't provided enough information for us to give you an answer."
I'd say at least half the time I click on the link, the top answer, it is either highly biased, anecdotal, just plain wrong, or a combination of those things. Many of the answers are also in broken English. Despite this, the answers get thousands of upvotes and it makes me question whether or not the Quora userbase is competent at identifying good content.
Over time, I've grown to not trust the first answer on Quora as I trust the top answer on SE. At that point, the Quora result becomes a waste of an entry on Google's front page.
As others have said in this thread, Quora seems to be suited towards personal questions and opinion-based questions, in which case, maybe Quora and SE are compliments to each other.
SE has nowhere near the breadth of Quora, and almost no social, personal life, and politics related topics. At least any SE site I've chanced on, and I'm a member of several.
Both my coworker and I were impressed by the gall of such a suggestion and then began to wonder how much self-deception and double-think must be occurring, culturally, within a company for its employees to be suggesting such a thing to others.
That's the reason I stopped using it a few weeks ago - it got so bad I had to scroll down multiple pages of collapsed answers in order to find a single question/answer that I hadn't seen yet. Which is exactly the opposite of what should happen.
This combined with the horrible feed made me quit recently.
I just find it funny that you can say this about literally any site with any content whatsoever.
Heck, even Mad made this joke about itself... in its second issue.
I took the chance with their data breach and required password change recently to just stop using the site altogether.
It leaves little room for true exploration and discovery because 1 mis-click on a topic could change your entire content experience for days or weeks.
I'd spend countless hours answering questions about my experiences and the school I attended, with the intention of just helping give back to the community.
Over the years, Quora became an relentless flood of "ask to answer" questions that were already on the site, ones asking me to compare "X coding bootcamp vs Y coding bootcamp" (like, how would someone know if they only attended one?), or just ridiculous comments from entitled people who expected the world with their questions.
I eventually deleted all of my answers and deactivated my account. It's just no longer worth contributing to a site that's very obviously devolved to "Yahoo Answers, with influencer spam"
I used to be top 7 in a specific niche but it wasn't worth dealing with their moderation appeals constantly. It's not quite as bad now that I am not in the top lists.
There are 3 types of people in bootcamps:
1. People who are too good. They should run away from bootcamps.
2. People who are the right fit.
3. People who aren't able to understand what if-based thinking is (if I am cold, then I will put on an extra layer of clothing). These people shouldn't do a bootcamp. All people in this group seem to have less education or less high quality education.
My tip: go to freecodecamp.org and do 2 weeks to 4 weeks of JS. If you notice that you're motivated enough to learn alone then continue and don't do a bootcamp. If you notice that you struggled (motivation-wise) then do a bootcamp.
> When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."
You're welcome to do that in a way that is constructive. What you are not welcome to do is be rude when doing so, like you are here.
When this was removed, it was the beginning of the end. Clickbait, self-promotion, rabid people-centric cults, unrelated answers (no person X, you should not answer with a sob story for 'what's the weather like in Seattle these days?'), no question details allowed, answers catering to the lowest denominator, crappy feeds, and (imo) the worst - fabricating actual relationships, sob stories, and credentials (IIT/MIT/etc.) to garner more views and become a top writer (w/e that's worth).
And the rabid and toxic community is nauseous, to say the least. No enforcement of community standards means that every non-mainstream opinion (or even an opinion that goes against the Quora mainstream) is lambasted as if you had insulted the commenter's family.
Although HN's moderation policy may seem caged to some, it is the reason for the quality of the community's discussions. Quora is a textbook example of what happens when users are given freedom to do whatever they want to. It is the reason why I deleted my Quora account happily (even though I had 1M+ views on my answers, and I liked answering the most mundane of questions) - the site is not worth the time you devote to it.
For me personally, Quora was special because the people on it were so different from each other. My first few follows were a NASA engineer, a published author, a student with radical views on theology etc.
But over time, with popularity, the site has devolved into a homogeneous mixture of people with similar views on most topics, from the same strata of society, mostly from the same country(/ies), with the same educational backgrounds, same sense of humour (My friend used to joke that the average writer on Quora is INTP Engineer from IIT who is working at a MNC but wants to change the world through NGO-work).
I think the change came about when Quora stopped charging for asking questions. This led to a flood of nonsense questions and a flooding of experiential questions over factual ones (eg. What is it like to be an older sibling vs. Why is the Attack on Normandy considered a turning point?). And of course experiential questions have waaaaaay more people who want to share their experiences on the same.
I think the day I lost hope entirely was when I was A2A "If Pakistan kidnaps Sachin Tendulkar, what would India government's response be?" (Yes, I'm Indian, but this question is silly in itself and the chest-thumping answers on this were even sillier).
Today, I still use Quora, though the last answer I wrote was about 3 years ago. I still have about 9K followers, but I follow a carefully curated list of about 70 accounts. It's utility as a website to "share knowledge" is very limited and I look at it today as essay-Twitter (Similar noise, similar debating, but just like Twitter, once in a while something good shows up)
I was unaware that Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange did this. I'm very happy that I deleted my Quora account a couple months ago and that I've been contributing more to the SE sites lately.
I wonder what is the motivation for the users to contribute to a site that hides their knowledge from others?
Or is that answer too simple? I think control, final answer. I don't know why control though.
Data goes in - it doesn't come out. Can't explain it!
They're walled gardens.
What's frustrating is that users don't care. They simply do not care.
Their data leaks, it's sold to the Russians, and they keep coming back.
Export data? Yes, it's very easy to import data!
It's a conundrum, only a vc funded site can reach such scale, have great growth etc but when the time for monetization comes, everything starts going downhill. A site driven by a foundation for example, rarely ever gets to any sort of scale. How can this problem be solved?
My guess is that Reddit explicitly did not try to put VCs number 1 in their priorities, unlike, say, Digg.
They think that I am a monkey that came from Google search and is going to click links that they show to me.
But the sin of it is it makes you think your are "clever" too, and both the website and the answerers are willingly fabricating, promoting and propagating deleterious garbage.
And I agree with a lot of the comments made so far. The quality of answers has detoriated a lot. In all fairness, this has largely to do with the fact that so many people now see Quora as the 'go-to marketing platform'. As a result, people write crappy answers in hopes that someone will click their 'educational and informative' links to full blog posts. And it's unlikely this is going to go away, since moderating at this scale isn't possible without losing a lot of money in the process.
Another thing that really annoys me about Quora is that the site promotes the same people and answers almost exclusively. You have a lot of 'self-made experts' who happen to have had exposure on a large TV network or something of sorts, and all of a sudden their answers have become the gospel of knowledge. This approach makes the site feel one-sided without any real depth to answers.
That being said, it's not all bad. I enjoy writing answers on topics I know about (200k answer views in 4 years), and you can generally get someone to answer something for you rather quickly.
How do these guys honestly have a real business? I know the founder was Zuck's friend.
It's basically turned into yahoo answers but instead of the top answer being vapid, it's vapid and an ad for some service.
However, I started receiving weekly digests, which included interesting questions and answers. I enjoy reading those digests and learned a bunch, professionally and personally from life experiences from other people. I never interacted until this year. It's good Sunday afternoon reading material for me.
Since I started answering questions this year (I became a top writer in certain topics), I've seen the other side too. I usually do not answer questions for pleasure only. I sometimes plug my business at the end of the answer but always make sure I answer the question and add value. I usually spend 1-2 hours on a question and I make Quora specific graphics to support my answer. Sometimes I do need to do extra research so this is where the 1-2 hours come from. I can see not everyone can spend this amount of time if it's not your business. The way I see it, people don't mind if you plug in your business if you provide value first.
Generally I'm a bit more positive than the average commenters here, as I received invaluable knowledge which changed and also solidified some of my own views. I've never compared Quora with SE, probably due to my use-case as to soak up experiences from other people instead of a source as factual information.
The value Quora provides for each individual depends on the selected topics when signing up and what you click-through in your digests. Somehow I ended up with interesting life experiences topics and never technical topics. I like airplanes but no aviation expert, but somehow I ended up receiving experiences from travellers, pilots, and crew. I find those experiences amusing to read.
I suggest to try to read and follow some of the niche topics outside programming, I think that's a better use-case for Quora.
This is where Quora and Stack Exchange seem like they would be very useful for answering questions about say type erasure or why my Eclipse configuration was giving me problems. What I discovered was that because of the almost universal use of Java by universities, the answers to every basic Java question were all over the place. So many questions, so many answers of questionable quality. It was like strolling thought a College stopping random students and asking them for help with Java. Somewhere, there is that really bright CS student providing good advice, the problem is finding him.
For just slightly more difficult Java questions (like “what does this Hibernate error message mean”) there might be no answers. Apparently, not to many students are using Hibernate.
Anyway despite having to take Java related answers with a grain of salt, Stack Exchange (and spin-offs) have been great for answering so many of my questions (LaTeX is actually fun to use because of Stack LaTeX Exchange).
I don't care about getting my data out any more than I care about not having transcripts of the conversations I had last month.
What I do care about is that Quora lets people delete comments on their own answers, meaning they can just lie with no way of being shamed and there's no point contradicting them.
Then people's worst instincts crept in. High profile users with lots of views in popular topics realized they could use Quora as a "brand building vehicle".
Within maybe a year (2014?), Quora was a very different experience. What used to be simple, to the point responses became lengthy, thought pieces peppered with references to one's own website, ebook or online course.
Unsurprisingly, the replies to people's responses dried up around this time as well. I remember seeing real discussions in the comments and the authors constructively discussing issues with the commenters. I rarely see that now. Usually it's just a display of view and likes.
There isn't really a Quora community anymore, just self-styled experts.
This is closely aligned with the GDPR's "Right to be forgotten", yes this is in relation to different information but I'm simply describing its intent. But eventually, this level of control should be given to all of us who share content on the internet. That we the curators of such content can ask of the provider to take reasonable steps to remove such content. And that if a provider wishes to restrict how widely dispersed its creators content travels then that's fine. Just because something has been posted online, doesn't mean it needs to travel far and wide.
Now yes, if I post something on the internet and I never touch it again I'm happy for it to hit the Wayback machine. However, I believe it to be important that if I did ever want that information I created to be removed, I'd have the ability to do so. Now if the Wayback machine does not allow this replication, then I understand why Quora do not allow them to use it.
If anything its a battle on both sides, a battle to provide control to the content creators around the content they create. And a battle with trying to archive everything that exists on the internet and making it publicly available regardless of the content creators current wishes.
Don't get me wrong, if you post something online expect it to be on the largest most accessible encyclopedia of information of all time. But times are changing, and we are starting to implement controls to protect our digital identity and the information we create online. My argument, is that if a content provider wishes to restrict how far and wide the information I curate on its service is spread, then there's nothing wrong with that. We should not be shaming content providers who wish to provide as much power to the curator as possible.
If you post something to the internet, it's permanent. Lawmakers can say all they want, but someone somewhere is storing it regardless of laws, and it can get out again at any time. From a security perspective, it's irresponsible to provide people with the illusion that they can erase their tracks; they'll believe they can truly eliminate all trace of what they said and prevent any future consequences when that's clearly not the case.
My intent was to put forth what it is describing, which is to allow the user to request the erasure of their information and subsequently that provider should then take reasonable steps to do so.
If that provider, chooses to keep content creators information more central to itself and not allow it to be as widely spread. Then that's more power to the curator and could be something that Quora wants to uphold.
On the same token, just because something has been posted on the internet doesn't mean that the provider of such content is obligated to spread it as far and wide as they want. They are allowed, to take efforts to restrict is movement.
You can certainly take efforts to restrict its movement, as Quora has done here. It's mostly futile, though, especially in this case. Archive.org might not be willing to save it, but I guarantee plenty of comparable services are.
I'm simply taking one of the GDPR principles and applying to them a wider variety of information outside of just PII.
I disagree. Whatever is put on the internet belongs to everyone on it, just because you made it doesn't mean you should have any kind of control over what people do with it. Enforcing redaction is obviously impossible but why would you even want to? You'll never get a guarantee that it's gone but also telling other people they cannot access information you originally created is kind of a jerk move.
The reality is that 99.99% of people will never care about their phony "right" to be forgotten and the 0.01% who do most likely do so because they posted something worth wanting to be forgotten, which will be picked up by interested parties and reposted ad infinum because that's what people do with that sort of thing (dox, embarrassing pictures, etc), while the information of the 99.99% who don't care will be lost when Quora inevitably stops existing and then nobody gets it.
>If anything its a battle on both sides, a battle to provide control to the content creators around the content they create.
They don't have any, and they shouldn't either - everything on the internet should be given freely as virtually everything is received freely as well. People should be allowed to retain or repost or modify anything for any purpose, and they pretty much do. Allowing "content creators" to control their work would mean any modification of it unacceptable to them (which encompasses a lot of territory) would be impossible to distribute, making remix cultures like YTP and others impossible. This is completely unreasonable, they should just learn to deal with other people using their work for things they never intended and move on.
That wording might be a tad harsh, but, essentially, yes, the "right to be forgotten" that most people seem to believe the GDPR provides is just an illusion. It only applies to very specific types of information gathered for specific purposes. It most certainly doesn't apply to the overwhelming majority of content posted to Quora.
That being said, there are other laws that could be at play here, such as intellectual property laws, but I'm assuming Quora either has you turn over ownership of anything you post or has you grant them an exclusive right to distribute it as they please. And if they were to decide to allow archive.org to archive it, you probably wouldn't have any right to request removal.
If you choose to disseminate information on the internet, there's no going back. You're broadcasting whatever you post with the world's largest megaphone. It's foolish to think you can reverse that process. If a government passes a law banning a book, people who've read that book still know what it said--and chances are there are still copies of the book floating around.
If you write something on the internet that you regret, that is your burden to bear for the rest of eternity. You chose to broadcast it with full knowledge of the fact that you would lose any semblance of control over the content the moment you hit Submit. It might not be ideal or fair, but that's the way it is, and laws aren't going to change it. Next time you're about to send a nasty email, think back to this comment, because what you're about to do is irreversible.
I think maybe there should be more of a trend of websites not showing usernames next to posts and just an identifier like "Purple" that changes when you post on a different thread/post so you can still follow the flow of a thread but not be able to link it to unrelated posts from that person.
I cant say that knowing the usernames of posters has ever helped me on stack overflow. Mods would still be able to see it but regular users and scrapers can not.
There is a real danger of the internet becoming a macabre and voyeuristic zoo where people lose control over their own data in the name of ever more transparency or public interest.
It has always been particularly interesting to me that this is an especially big issue in the US, where you would expect the opposite given how it handles these matters of privacy and non-interference in the analog world.
I don't recall a major password manager security breach, but I am afraid it is only a question of time. And the consequences will not be just compounded, they will be multiplied.
And if you are still afraid of that, use a password manager which does not store it's data on somebody else's server.
That’s when I stopped to use Quora.
I know of Stack Overflow/Exchange however you can’t ask open ended questions there
You'd get 40 answers spamming their website, 20 life stories of completely uneventful event, and then answer 9 repeatedly posted like 11 times.
90% of that "advice" could be copy pasted onto any "how do I learn something", and the remaining two sentences related to competitive programming are so vague that he links to the wikipedia page on "Algorithms" and the wikipedia page on "Programming Language"
And that gets you 460 upvotes, far above some of the better answers at the bottom of the thread.
Plus, the platform is now filled with spammers just promoting their own companies. Ask a question about how to manage a project better and you'll only get some spammer promoting his software instead of actually sharing tactics.
On the other hand, there was something that happened here that we should probably talk about.
A few years ago some of the topics (especially human-relationship subjects) experienced a sudden surge of content from people from India. I know many smart and erudite Indians, and these new users... weren't. I don't know what happened. Maybe Quora suddenly became a fad with the pre-teens in India? Kids online are generally insufferable from all cultures.
The platform didn't digest this well. Quite a few topics that used to be interesting suddenly became filled with garbage. I stopped watching many. Now I seem to just get bombarded with WW2 trivia, which is ok I guess, but I kinda miss "the old Quora".
It's an awkward subject but the parent's comment can't just be discounted as racism.
What happened in India was from mid-2016 usable internet access became super cheap. This suddenly added at least a hundred million new users to the Internet in a short span of time, people who were being exposed to totally new communities beyond their facebook friend circle. This is not about India, this happens whenever there is a clash between new users and old users and the number of new users is overwhelmingly larger than the old ones. This should have happened when China started getting internet, but I guess their government policies coupled with less number of English speakers than India prevented it. But this is not the last time this is happening. After the Indians settle down, I guess next will be Africa and we will start again.
I used to be an avid reader of alt.best-of-internet. When AOL put newsgroups online, alt.best-of-internet was at the top of the alphabetical list and suddenly got a deluge of nonsense. Please to AOL went unheard.
Someone got the brilliant idea to keep a thread bumped to the top whose title was:
OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM AOL: WE WORSHIP SATAN
I don't know if this was cause/effect, but shortly afterwards alt.best-of-internet was hidden or moved to a less conspicuous location in the UI and the deluge stopped.
Choose both or none.
You're right though in that from a law enforcement POV the two look roughly the same.
Hey man thats ageist! I know X kids that are probably smarter than the average adult!
Maybe we should have a conversation on ageism now.
The follow up question is: if we truly assume it is all kids being jerks, why do adults dont voice disapproval the way they would in real life, but rather sheepishly enable it? Role modeling and it takes a village and all that.
It is incredibly obvious if you ever visit once. (Probably will be your first visit because you didn't notice it.)
People post questions about themselves and then proceed to answer those questions to build an online presence.
There are more civil and polite methods of expressing dissatisfaction than the kind of blanket statement that gurumeditations has resorted to above.
Also makes it extremely hard to log out.
Not to mention they have no respect for users.
Edit: Hey, downvoters, it's not possible to just use Google's login mechanism without prompting an initial OAuth flow at some point in time. If it is, instead of proving me wrong here, tell Google how and you can make some good money out of it.
As was said below, if you want, you can revoke tokens here: https://myaccount.google.com/permissions
What this seems like is after the user initially logged in and consented with Google, Quora went ahead and decided that they would initiate the oauth flow whenever the user visits the page regardless of whether the user explicitly hits the login button or not.
To break the link, go into Google and see what sites, apps, etc you granted access to. That's a good thing to do regularly anyway with every social provider.
I wrote about the implications of poorly implemented and abusive social authentication practices last month: https://www.scmagazine.com/home/security-news/using-social-a...