Deleting my Quora account
So I was searching around for something I wrote a while ago and I happened to run into my Quora page. I actually thought I deleted my account after the massive data breach in 2018 but I guess I didn't actually get around to it. Since then I completely forgot that I was on that site. Sometime around 2015 I think I signed up with the idea that it might be a good way for me to gain some publicity for my company, I don't think we got any conversions though this but I could be wrong.
When Quora was first opened as a platform it was quite interesting for a while, there were some interesting discussions there of a more subjective nature that were, at least for a very short moment in time, quite interesting. The fact that you could write long form answers allowed a quality of response that's simply impossible on a platform like Twitter1. Initially this gave me hope that the site could be a good platform for discussion.
Then as the site grew the inevitable decline in quality started. I see this decline as entirely inevitable because Quora, much like many other crappy sites, doesn't have the ability to downvote crap content.
This is in stark contrast to a site like StackOverflow which does allow bad content to be downvoted in such a way that if there's more downvotes than upvotes the visibility of the posts drops. StackOverflow is not without its problems, I might write some other time why I stopped posting answers on there, but at least for technical topics was so vastly superior to Quora that I'm surprised that anyone uses Quora for those topics at all. The quality of the technical content is so bad that that you'd have to already know a lot about whatever topic it was you were interested in ahead of time to be able to judge the quality of the answers. The feedback from the site itself just isn't something that can be relied on.
When a site only has upvotes the sorts of content that tends to rise to the top is controversial content. Without the downvotes there to balance it out controversial content is at a massive advantage, because it attracts more votes. "upvote only" puts in place a bias towards controversy since that is being rewarded by greater visibility in the platform.
For this reason my first thought was "where do I go to delete my account?". I think one of the biggest issues we are facing online at the moment is a rapid drop in the quality of discourse, and sites that directly incentivize controversial posts over others are just not sites I want to support with my content, especially if that's content I supplied to those platforms for free. It so far seems like that will be fairly easy to delete my Quora account but I want to make sure I've got all of the valuable content I've already created backed up first. I don't want to lose good content so I'll turn those into posts here, on my own site. If you make a lot of content I'd encourage you to do the same, create your own blog and host your content there2. That way your content will continue to exist regardless of the results from tech mergers and acquisitions or whoever the current flavor of the week is to ban on these platforms. Much like backing up your important files it's important to back up and own your own web content.
If you are interested in seeing my Quora posts I've now got them backed up here.
The short comment limit on Twitter I think is a major factor in why that platform is so toxic. There's just no ability to express complex ideas easily given that constraint and as a result things have a very strong draw towards simplicity and the most basic ugly form of group think. Throw in a likes system that encourages people to exist in bubbles while not being able to have any in depth discourse and suddenly you have an amazingly damaging platform. ↩
Creating your own blog or website is far easier than it's ever been before. I'd highly recommend getting your own domain name as well. It's important to register your own domain name at a different company to the web hosting because that will allow you options if there's issues with your web hosting, like the company going out of business for example. ↩