Local Tech Repair: My Experience with Yahoo Answers - aka suspended

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Experience with Yahoo Answers - aka suspended

So I recently tried out Yahoo Answers to try and help people out with their computer security problems. There are a lot of people that have computer virus problems on there and some of the trusted contributors don't give the best advice on how to actually get ride of them. So I figured I would try to help give a better answer that would be more accurate and better server the users.

Sense I work in the industry of computer repair and have been doing it for many years I know my way around virus removal and easy ways of doing it. But after answering 2 peoples problems I was immediately reported on by another member which I do not know who did or even why so I get suspended.

One of the questions was that the user got hacked and they where seeing lots of popups now. so i responded with the following

"first thing you can do is shut the computer down. then there are many different anti virus scams/viruses out there. but just to make sure that your clean you may want to go through a few steps. if you only have one computer start it up and go to only this address http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/ then follow the instructions http://www.hirensbootcd.org/change-the-boot-order-in-bios/ this will get you booting in to a safe system so that you can make sure your computer is clean and if no clean it effectivly follow these steps http://localtechrepair.blogspot.com/2011/05/basic-repairing-of-virus-infected.html once your sure that there are not viruses make sure you have a good anti virus http://www.av-test.org/certifications then to make sure you are not open to attack i would not use internet explorer but use a browser like firefox, chrome, opera, or anything really besides internet explorer as it is open to many attacks"

well I guess someone did not like my answer. This surprised me because I did not think I violated any rules when posting that response. So I tried to figure out what the reason for suspension was for because I am sure I followed all the community guidelines.
http://answers.yahoo.com/info/community_guidelines

The only thing I could think why someone may have reported it is because I used a blog URL which may have violated the "Exploiting the community" which goes like this.

"Yahoo! Answers is a place to gain knowledge, not customers, page views, or dates. If you have years of experience in something, have a special hobby, own your own business, or if you are a knowledge partner, it's OK to accompany a good, on-topic answer with a link to your website, blog, or email to offer more information. However, it is not OK to post links that are unrelated to the topic or are clearly meant only to solicit others for personal and financial gain. Also prohibited are solicitations like "Will you add me as a contact?" or propositioning people. Read more"

so even according to that I did not brake that rule because the post I selected was directly related to her problem and how to best resolve it.

So when I got a response from the appeal it basically said the reason why your suspended is because you could have broken a term of service or community guideline. Weird? does not answer the question why or even though I thought I have not.

So I currently have no clue if someone just reported me because they wanted their answer to be the best or what but yahoo still has not responded why at the time of this writing.

The reason why my answer is better than all the rest. None of the other answers take in to account that if your system is infected with a virus you can not trust what the system tells you. For instance a rootkit is designed to stay hidden so when it attaches its self to the kernel and starts modifying system calls no matter how many times you scan the system the rootkit will tell the virus scanner that there is no file in a location when there is a file in the location or it will deny access to all of memory or a half dozen other things that rootkits and viruses do to avoid detection. The only way to be sure that there is nothing is by not ever booting into the system to do the virus scans. This must be done from a live cd or another computer that is not infected to scan the kernel and the hard drive for viruses the only thing that you can not detect is rootkits like system management module rootkits, bios rootkits, and the blue pill (which dies on shutdown because it lives in memory as a vm).

So the process that I suggested is truly the only one that will 99% guaranty that your system is clean.

So far I am displeased with either the stupidity of yahoo's tech support or stupid users that just want to get their name higher by hurting the rest of the population or both.

I hope this is a valuable lesson for those are thinking about contributing to yahoo answers.
I am not the first one that has had this happen to them.

If you have a question ask in comments even if it is not completely on topic I will try to answer it or write a new post answering it and post a link in comments.

thanks for reading
Local Tech Repair Admin