Yahoo! Groups Content Purge

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Event
Event: Yahoo! Groups Content Purge (Yahoo Geddon, YahooGeddon, Yahoo-Geddon)
Participants:
Date(s): announced October 16, 2019, purge slated for December 14, 2019
Type:
Fandom: multifandom
URL:
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A sample screenshot announcing the purge -- the happy people portrayed in this banner do not likely represent most fans' opinions regarding this decision.
Similar Occurrences

For other incidents in which platforms used by fan communities have cracked down on fanworks, discussion by fans, and fansites with "inappropriate" content, see:

For a more general related topic, see List of Content Banned by Archives.

On October 16, 2019, Jason Scott, the founder of Archive Team, tweeted that Yahoo! had - with very little fanfare - announced it would be shutting off posting to Groups from October 21, 2019 (this date later became October 28, 2019 [1] [2] and permanently deleting all Groups content from December 14, 2019. Notably, there was nothing about this coming change published to the front page of Yahoo! Groups.

While initial fandom-wide discussion of the announcement described this as a complete shutdown of Yahoo!Groups, careful reading of the announcement indicates that Yahoo! will continue to maintain mailing lists of group members and that members will still be able to send and receive list-wide messages via email (although features such as "digest" subscriptions will be eliminated and moderators' management features will be reduced).

Fans immediately began seeking resources and support for archiving the soon-to-be-deleted content, with posts on Dreamwidth encouraging group moderators to contact Open Doors and providing pointers toward software utilities designed to preserve a list's email archive.

See FanloreProject:Yahoo! Groups.

November 2019 Message from Yahoo! Groups: "Evolution of Yahoo Groups"

On November 5, 2019, Yahoo sent this message to members:

Evolution of Yahoo Groups

Dear Group Moderators and Members,

Thank you for your commitment to Yahoo and for helping us define the power of digital communities. Eighteen years ago, we combined the functionality of a site called eGroups.com with a precursor community platform called Yahoo Clubs to launch Yahoo Groups. Since then, you and millions of others have helped prove our hypothesis, by creating and joining more than 10 Million groups.

A lot has changed about the Internet since 2001, including the ways most people now use Yahoo Groups. Today, most Yahoo Groups activity happens in your email inbox, not on the bulletin boards where Yahoo Groups started in the pre-smartphone age. Increasingly, people want content and connections coming directly to them, and this is why we continue to invest in Yahoo Mail -- including the recent launch of a new Yahoo Mail app that is currently the highest-rated email app in the App Store and Google Play.

So, as our users’ habits have evolved, we have begun the process of evolving our approach to help active Yahoo Groups thrive and migrate to our email platform. To help you plan for these changes, below is the schedule of how this transition will happen.

Beginning October 28, 2019: •Users will be able to join a Yahoo Group only through an invite from the Group Moderator or by submitting a request to join a Group, which requires approval by the Group Moderator. •Since we are moving Group communication from posting on message boards to email distribution, uploading and hosting of new content will also be disabled on the Yahoo Groups website.

Beginning December 14, 2019: •All Groups will be made private and any content that was previously uploaded via the website will be removed. We believe privacy is critical and made this decision to better align with our overall principles. •If you would like to keep any of the content you’ve posted or stored in the past within your Yahoo Group, please download it by December 14 by accessing this link.

As these dates get closer, we will send follow-up reminders. More information about the upcoming changes can be found here.

While this evolution of Yahoo Groups is inspired by how we see the platform being used today, we know change can be difficult. Here are a few important facts as we make this transition:

1. Yahoo Groups is not going away - We know that our users are deeply passionate about connecting around shared interests, and we are evolving Groups to better align with how you use it today.

2. New groups can still be formed - Users can continue to connect with others around their common bonds and interests. From animal rescues to sporting and activity groups, civic organizations to local PTAs, members of our Yahoo Groups will remain connected and able to share their activities and interests. All of the content that you have shared previously on the website, can continue to be shared via email.

We know that Yahoo Groups is an important online extension of your real-life group of friends, interests and communities, and we are committed to supporting communities that rely on Yahoo Groups. Thanks for coming along with us this far. We look forward to seeing where the technology -- and you -- take us in the decades to come.

Sincerely, The Groups Team

December 1, 2019 Letter to Verizon from Open Doors

Two weeks before the scheduled December 14, 2019 shutdown, the OTW Open Doors Committee sent an open letter letter to leadership at Verizon to requesting that they extend the deadline for deletion of existing archives of Yahoo Groups files and messages by at least six months.

See: Open Letter to Verizon: Extend the Deletion Deadline for Yahoo Groups

Lists of Fandom Yahoo! Groups

Effects on Fandom

Fan Comments

[2019]:

My heyday of using Yahoo Groups came earlier, in the late ’90s and early ’00s. It was one of the first repositories I found for fandom-specific fanfiction and discussion. While there were often small story archives devoted to, say, a particular TV show, leaving comments on fic in those days wasn’t really possible or part of the culture, and there wasn’t always a central place to talk about new episodes, news, and anything else on your mind.

You could cross-post a story to like-minded people in the Yahoo Group dedicated to a pairing/show/book/movie, and that would be one of the major means of receiving feedback from it as well as interacting in nigh-on realtime with fellow fans across the world. The best sort of Groups could feel like a rather cozy walled garden, and the selectivity of putting yourself in a group—rather than seeing a topic go by on social media—was, I think, one reason why there was a reduced amount of what we often term “discourse” these days. Prior to my fandom forays, I also used Yahoo Groups for text-based RPGs and D&D campaigns. It sounds like ancient technology now, but we made it work.

It’s been a long time since I used Yahoo Groups. But I always feel a real sense of sadness when something that was once such a cornerstone of creativity and connectivity is put out to Internet pasture. Doubly so when it’s done with as little respect and grace as Yahoo/Verizon is evincing now. [3]

Memes and Fanworks

Links to Information

Further Reading (Industry, Mainstream Press)

References

  1. ^ An archived snapshot of the October 16 announcement shows the October 21 date, while a snapshot from the following day shows the new date.
  2. ^ "a representative for Yahoo owner Verizon asked for a correction regarding the date that the Yahoo Groups site will no longer accept new posts from users: from October 21 to 28. Yahoo's initial post said October 21, as archived versions of the webpage confirm, but has now been changed to read October 28. When asked about the change, the representative then claimed that the original date was an error on Verizon's part. Whatever happened here, it looks like Yahoo Groups users have another week to post to the site." -- Yahoo Groups Is Winding Down and All Content Will Be Permanently Removed; archive link by Jordan Pearson (Oct 16 2019
  3. ^ Yahoo Groups Will Close and Remove All Content by Kaila Hale-Stern (The Mary Sue (Oct 19th, 2019)