I have had the same Yahoo! account for over a decade. I mostly had it because I collect accounts at every major website. Most of Yahoo’s services are crappy and nerfed, so I’ve never had much of a need for it. But about a month ago I started participating in Yahoo! Answers and found it to be a great place to learn and share all kinds of things. For those that don’t know, Y!A isn’t a normal forum. People ask questions and you’re allowed to give an answer. It’s not really set up for discussions, but people try to do it anyway.
There have been a ridiculous amount of questions regarding the idea that the world will end in 2012. So many people were asking the exact same question that it was becoming disruptive. No one gave a legitimate answer any time this was asked (myself included) and people generally used it as an opportunity to insult the person unfortunate enough to ask it. Well, I was one of those people that was getting fed up with the repetitious questioning and decided to make a joke.
I asked a simple, harmless, and silly question in an attempt to highlight the absurdity of the 2012 meme. My question was, “If you believe the world is going to end on 2012, can I have your bank account information?” Within an hour of posting this question, I received this email:
You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your content has been deleted. Community Guidelines help to keep Yahoo! Answers a safe and useful community, so we appreciate your consideration of its rules.
Deleted Question: If you believe the world is going to end on 2012, can I have your bank account information?
Violation Reason: Community Guidelines and/or Terms Of Service Violation
If you feel this content was removed in error, please read the Community Guidelines and make sure that this content: 1. respects the question-answer format and is not chatty or personal communication; 2. does not contain non-relevant links to external sites or other questions and does not promote your own blog or website; 3. is respectful to other people and does not offend other community members. If you still believe this content has been removed in error, please contact Customer Care and tell us why.
Yahoo! Customer Care
My first thought was, “D’oh! Did they really think I was serious? Surely not.” Then I got this email:
You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your account has been suspended.
If you feel you were not in violation, please contact our Customer Care and tell us why.
Yahoo! Customer Care
I laughed about it, knowing that I could appeal it and get my account taken out of suspension. So, I took the time to compose this letter:
My account was recently suspended because of a bad joke. There are so many people on Yahoo! Answers asking if the world is going to end in 2012 that it is becoming disruptive. Aside from my own question (which was rightfully deleted, I’ll admit), there have been a slew of people asking the exact same question and getting dozens of sarcastic, spiteful, and otherwise meaningless answers.
The question I asked was intended as a joke, and I realize now why it was a bad joke. My question was “If you believe the world is going to end on 2012, can I have your bank account information?” My point was to say that if people really felt the world was going to end that they would be willing to give up something as important as their bank account. It was intended bring a little perspective to the whole issue.
I realize that this isn’t a forum, a point that I make to people repeatedly. But I just got fed up with the dozens of people asking the exact same question. Y!A has a system set up to discourage this but people ignore it. And I also recognize the serious of the bank account reference. I can’t imagine someone actually putting their information in there, but I understand your concern. That’s why I completely understand removing my question
While I understand deleting my question is necessary to weed out genuine abuses of this system, I don’t feel the suspension is warranted. I’m pretty sure I have a good standing with most of the Y!A community, and I enjoy being a part of it. Please consider reactivating my account.
Comfortable with my attempt to reactivate my account, I forgot about it all until a couple days later when I got this email from them:
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Answers.
We appreciate your inquiry about your suspension from Yahoo! Answers and/or the deactivation of your Yahoo! ID. We reviewed your case, and decided that your account is not eligible for reinstatement.
Once an account is disabled for a violation of the Terms of Service, the subscriber to the account will lose the ability to log in and access the account and its contents (including email and content stored with any other Yahoo! service). The account also will not be reactivated.
Should you choose to create a new Yahoo! account, we invite you to read the Yahoo! Terms of Service and Yahoo! Community Guidelines to help ensure your new account is not deactivated.
Yahoo! Terms of Service:
Yahoo! Community Guidelines:
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Answers. Your case number for this issue is 65843187. Please reference it in all future communication about this particular issue.
Yahoo! Customer Care
And that’s where I am now. My account wasn’t just suspended, it was deleted. They took a big ol’ dump and my account was the victim. I can’t access my friends list, my inbox, or any other service that Yahoo offers. I can’t even access the answers I gave except those that I’d bookmarked (which I’ll be posting to my blog so I won’t lose them forever).
No true appeal, no fair warning, and no way to undo the “damage” I caused. Thanks again to Yahoo! for being a bunch of humorless pricks. 😛