We only have a few days left until Verizon kills off Yahoo Groups, and the volunteer archivists who've been battling with the company to preserve its legacy have just been dealt a crushing blow. Read the rest
Since 2010, Nightowl, the "head of the Yahoo Users Crusade," has been leading a preservation effort to scrape and archive the sprawling contents of Yahoo Groups. She writes, "Now we are desperate. We are running out of time to ever save our precious content. Yahoo has never made it easy to rescue it, and has in fact, recently made it increasingly harder and harder. There is no easy way to rescue and save our content." Read the rest
The latest fuck-you from Oath -- the Verizon division created to manage the zombie assets of AOL and Yahoo, bought at a ridiculous premium and then written down by more than 99% -- is the impending drawdown of Yahoo Groups, with mass deletions of all stored "Files, Polls, Links, Photos, Folders, Calendar, Database, Attachments, Conversations, Email Updates, Message Digest, Message History" as of Dec 14. Read the rest
Mapquest was once the leading map site in the world; they were bought by AOL as part of AOL's decades' long spree of buying successful companies and running them into the ground -- finally, they were sold, and merged with Yahoo's mangled acquisitions, to Verizon, to form a new, doomed division called "Oath" (because thinking about it made people swear). Read the rest
Verizon wants to divest itself of Tumblr, having squandered much of the goodwill that made the platform so beloved by creating literally the stupidest censorship regime in the history of the internet; Tumblr became part of Verizon through the sale of Yahoo's media assets, and is part of a group Verizon dubbed "Oath" because everyone who encounters it ends up swearing. Verizon has admitted that it made a stupid, multi-billion dollar mistake when it bought Tumblr and its sister companies. (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest
Yesterday, despite the manifest, glaring problems with its porn filter, Tumblr turned on mandatory porn-blocking for all its users' content, so that anything that its bots identified a pornographic would be invisible. Read the rest
A friend who works in ad-tech tells me that Verizon's datasets from its Yahoo/AOL assets are "the creepiest" in the industry, but even with every dirty trick and every stupid, harebrained scheme, the companies formerly known as Oath (because everything Verizon did made their users swear uncontrollably) are basically worthless. Read the rest
Everything has a cost, especially in the realm of online services. It used to be a pretty common practice for providers of 'free' email services to scan their user's messages for data that'd be valuable to advertisers. The data got sold to keep the email provider's lights on, with in-browser advertising filling in the financial gaps. Most email providers abandoned the practice, years ago: they were amazed to find that it pissed off their users. Yahoo's parent company, Oath, however, is getting back on this particular brand of bullshit.
From The Verge:
Yahoo’s owner, Oath, is in talks with advertisers to provide a service that would analyze over 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes for consumer data, sources told WSJ. Oath did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Oath confirmed to the WSJ that it performs email scannings and said that it only scans promotional emails, usually from retailers. Users have the ability to opt out, it said. Oath’s argument is that email is an expensive system, and people can’t expect a free service without some value exchanged.
Greasier still is the fact that even if you pony up the dough, on a monthly basis, for Yahoo's premium email services, your data will get scanned unless you opt to opt out. Finding the page that lets you do this, surprise, surprise is not easy to do. We've got your back, though. Follow this link to take control of your Oath-related privacy settings.
Oath swears that the data scraping method they use ignores personal information and personal identifiers. Read the rest
Compuserve's sprawling, paleolithic forums were acquired along with Compuserve itself by AOL in 1998, and their fossil remains were augmented, year after year, decade after decade, by die-hard users who continued to participate there. Read the rest