It is amazing that Quora raised millions of dollars for a crummy question and answer website. It probably was able to raise the funds for several reasons, none of which were because it deserved to raise even a penny. These reasons probably included: the owner had connections, they did a good job at raising capital, the owners had a good credit rating, and the people doing the pitch to the investors were good salesmen.
But the truth is that Quora sucks. Why does it suck so badly? Here are the top 10 reasons that Quora sucks.
10 You have to have an account to even read the results on Quora
However, that still doesn't change that fact that it is a huge annoyance that they literally force all visitors to register for an account in order to use the site, thus revealing their email and home IP address, unless you use a VPN and a throwaway email. But even if you do use a VPN and throwaway email, your account will quickly be deleted if you don't violate your privacy, as explained in the rest of this top 10 list of why Quora sucks.
9 You have to download the Quora app in order to even use the full site
8 They force you to use the site their way and not the way you want to
7 You have to use your REAL name in real life to even use the site
The stupid and really horrible reason they do this is because they don't want people creating multiple accounts and they think it will tone down people's passion. However, more importantly, it gives the moderators an unreasonable amount of control over the content. By being able to ban a user forever from ever using the website, moderators are able to inhibit freedom of speech by banning any users who do not agree with their personal values, even if they did not break any "rules".
This is a 1) violation of privacy, 2) violation of freedom of speech, and 3) results in political bias, which is a huge no-no for a question and answer site. Worse, it alienates a large number of valuable contributors, because only people who are stupid or naive enough to give a liberal question and answer website access to their personal identity and personally identifying documents, will ever be the ones who remain on the website.
Additionally, it means that people will not be fully honest and will not give the correct and unbiased answers, because of the constant fear of being banned from the website.
As a result, the site is now filled with hacks and liberals instead of valuable contributors. The moderators are able to push their liberal bias and ban conservative views. They are able to delete any honest comments about how terrible Quora is so they can safely ignore the valuable advice telling them why they sick so bad, because they have no reason to change it.
Moreover, now they can sell all these people's personal information to the highest bidder as part of their monetization strategy.
Sure, you can post answers as "Anonymous". However, anonymous answers are penalized, and have a high risk of being deleted by a moderator who disagrees with you. Additionally, just because you are posting as "anonymous" doesn't mean anything because Quora unpaid and paid moderators and staff still know everything you posted is directly connected to you, and this information is collected and forever stored, and one day most certainly will come back to haunt you. Once you post on Quora, that is connected to you, personally, forever.
Also, if you accidentally post something personal as not anonymous, you are SOL.
6 You have to use a real photograph of yourself on the Quora post
So you keep quiet or tone down your posts, and as a result the quality of the entire site is degraded and unfairly biased. If they don't believe your headshot is you or is not good enough, they will suspend your account asking for more privacy invasion personal identification, and possibly delete your account and all your hard work.
Please note that they say you don't have to use your real photo. But if you don't soon your account will become suspended and they will demand even more privacy violating identity verifications. One of these verifications can and does include a picture of yourself. They want to make sure they know exactly who you are in real life. Which is completely none of their business, because you don't know anything about the "moderator" who you are sending all your personal information to.
5 Quora creates, wants, and panders to tyrannical moderators
They might let you waste a bunch of time first before deleting all your content you worked hard for and banning you forever just because they don't agree with your political perspective, or because they want you to give them a copy of your ID and other violations of personal privacy.
4 Quora is extremely unpopular
Why is Quora ranked in search engines? It has nothing to do with popularity. It has to do with the fact that they keep posting so much new stupid questions and stupid answers from their teams of writers who are the main ones using the website (not actual visitors), and large amounts of content and being regularly updated is favored by the search engines, despite the fact that it is an extremely unpopular website that most of the internet wants to die and stop showing up in their web searches.
3 What you write is not yours, and probably will be changed against your will
Not only is this an ethical violation because your content is essentially your only payment for the time you spent writing on the site, but also it is potentially damaging to you and is a personal violation against contributors, because they can change your question to mean something you never intended to ask, or they can change your answers to portray views that do not line up with your personal views.
Then for example your employer one day is browsing the internet and reads a Quora answer you wrote - because after all it has your real name and a picture of you next to it - and hates what you wrote. But he doesn't know that that isn't what you wrote at all, that is what some moderator completely twisted out of context when they rewrote your question against your will.
2 Quora reveals everything you have read on the website to the public
Since it is a question and answer website, and because it comes up in your web browsing searches, if you accidentally clicked a web result for Quora when you were searching for "how to cure athlete's foot", now this embarrassing fact is permanently connected to your real name for the entire world to see. This is a massive violation of privacy that goes even further than many other privacy violating sites.
1 Quora pollutes internet searches on mobile devices
This is even more problematic when it comes to mobile devices, because on a mobile device you can't manually remove the overlays like you can on a desktop if you are computer savvy. Instead, you have to just push the back button on your mobile browser and you can't even read the content on a mobile device.
So in essence, it is clear that on multiple levels, Quora is basically a site which wants tons of people to work for them without pay, and without even the sole benefit to be able to express their own personal views and ask the questions they want to.
After all, who wants to ask embarrassing questions that might help other people but will be forever connected to you personally, both your real name and real picture of you? Do you really want the world to know that you don’t know how to cook a chicken, or that your wife cheated on you and you don’t know what to do about it? Of course not.
And what if you got divorced? Well you can’t use this site to ask people how to recover from it unless you also want the world knowing you are getting divorced. What if you are a recovering alcoholic? Internet forums are a great way to anonymously get other recovering addicts to help you recover without revealing to your employer and the world that you are struggling with alcoholism. These and many other scenarios are excellent ways to utilize an anonymous question and answer forum, but Quora has designed a system that prevents anyone from getting real help. Quora is not a safe haven! It is a very dangerous haven for anyone who is seeking help for anything, big or small.
So you can’t use the site to ask the most important questions, express opinions, find out real and unbiased information that is useful to your life, add your valuable contributions, or build your online reputation, all the things that you are supposed to be able to do on a question and answer site and which is the entire reason for its existence, because the entire website is designed to hurt its contributors and portray a biased viewpoint on every topic.
So it is clear that Quora sucks very badly. I really hope that the site dies a quick death, sooner rather than later. I also really hope that whoever is funding the site wakes up and realizes the truth behind this horrible website and pulls their funding, so that the owners of Quora can stop profiting off ruining the internet and harming people’s lives by violating their privacy.
Update: I created an account on Quora and over the past couple weeks I made a couple hundred posts. Most of them valuable replies and comments, a few not so much. I wanted to check to see if anything as changed, so I went undercover.
As expected, they have now blocked my profile saying it violates the “real name” policy. However, the name I used isn’t a particularly odd-sounding name.
I wanted to further the undercover operation by seeing what kind of sensitive documents they demand in order to post on their free website, but the link goes to a contact form which is broken. It is just a white page. This shows very poor programming. (Update: After 4 years they finally fixed their contact form in 2020, which had been broken since 2016).
I tested in the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Explorer. I even tried accessing the contact form using a different IP address from a different geographic location, but no luck. Currently, the website is broken. It also has some major bugs such as deleting comments is not possible since it gives a white transparent overlay but the delete comment is missing.
If they do fix this major website bug, I will continue by updating this post with screenshots of the full sensitive personal information they demand from me in order to participate on their free website. It’s free because they profit from selling your personal information. (Update: Since it took 4 years for them to update their contact form to work, I’ll have to do another undercover project to get this info)
Also, they delay blocking you until you contributed quite a bit to the website so that you are emotionally invested in the website and more likely to concede to their demands for your personal information that they are not entitled to. Moreover, depending on what they demand, it may be illegal.