I hang out occasionally on the Yahoo! Answers Japan board, and I would rate the reliability of the best answers as moderate as best, which is how most Japanese users view these sites, according to a survey conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc and reported on by japan.internet.com into Q&A sites.
Although trust levels are high, as with Wikipedia the problem is that the casual reader doesn’t know how good the chosen best answer is (on Yahoo! at least; I’m not sure of the others) as it is often the questioner who chooses the answer that sounds best to them, or if it goes to voting then trolls and those gaming the system can outweigh genuine votes. Even with no trolling, a more palatable answer may be chosen over the truth.
Q1: Have you ever used a Q&A site? (Sample size=330)
Q1SQ1: Which Q&A sites do you often use? (Sample size=161, multiple answer)
Q1SQ2: What do you mainly do on Q&A sites? (Sample size=161)
View past questions and answers
Q1SQ3: Do you trust Q&A sites? (Sample size=161)
Trust them sufficiently
Trust them a bit
Don’t really trust them
Don’t trust them at all
On the 2nd of June 2008 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research online monitor group employed in the private sector completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 81.2% of the sample were male, 10.0% in their twenties, 29.1% in their thirties, 43.6% in their forties, 15.5% in their fifties, and 1.8% in their sixties.
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