We began to hear about security breaches at Yahoo more than a year ago. But they went back as far as 2013. The largest compromised around a billion user accounts. Mine was certainly one of those.
I’ve had a Yahoo email account since the beginning of time, and I used to use it for a few things, like buying movie tickets. But long before we heard at last that it had been hacked, I had begun to migrate away from it.
I had already changed the password a few times, making it stronger each round. More importantly, I detached it from the one residual link it had to a more important account. Now, it doesn’t touch any other. But well before that I marooned it from a content perspective. It’s been spammy for years, and as such, worth avoiding.
I still get email from the account, sent to my highly secure email platform, Inky. But it’s always irrelevant and misdirected. Most of it I don’t even open, and I never touch a link in any of it. In fact, someone (or some service) out there thinks I’m actually female and much younger and is always offering me ways to reduce my student debt, get credit cards and find work.
Yahoo, on the other hand, just looks completely foolish and has for some years now. Plenty of this can be laid at Marissa Mayer’s door (out of which, I note, she is getting with a minimum of fuss and lots of money). But the illness was in the body long before she arrived from Google.
Yahoo was never built for the modern era, and its ancient architecture was too clanky to withstand the onslaught of cage rattling besieging the Internet today. A certain arrogance and laziness probably didn’t help.
But here we are. Verizon is lowering its proposed payment, and the deal is still not closed. Yahoo continues to deflate like a punctured beach ball.
And while I’m at it, let me note that Yahoo’s anything-goes policy with respect to comment posting has yielded some of the most poisonous acrimony stinking up the Web today. Yahoo’s sheer unwillingness to curate has actually lowered the standard of discourse in our country, leading to all sorts of divisions and nastiness. Hooray for the New York Times, which still tries to keep a lid on things. Fie on Yahoo and many other so-called forums that allow people to prey on each other.
Does Verizon seriously think it’s buying something of value for all those billions, however many they turn out to be? What do they think they’re getting? David Pogue? Katie Couric? Yahoo is their Las Vegas gig, the one where they trade on their names after their serious work is done and take in some major coin. Good luck with that! Yahoo has become a cesspool.
Oh, and this just in: Yahoo is the Hotel California, the place you can never leave.
And these social technologies were supposed to liberate us. Ha!