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Besides being operated by totally different companies, the layout and format of Wikianswers and Yahoo! Answers are very different.
- Yahoo! Answers is competition-based. People answering the question are competing against each other for "best answer", in order to gain points / achieve notoriety
- Yahoo! Answers operates on the assumption that every single question is different Askers are encouraged to ask questions even if a similar question with a valid answer already exists
- Answers on Yahoo! Answers are locked in time. Once an initial time period has passed, the answers can no longer be corrected with newer information
- Questions and answers are subject to automated when enough votes are collected, regardless of whether the question or answer violated any rules
- Questions on Yahoo! Answers are deleted if they have not been answered within a given time frame
- Wikianswers is community-based. People answering questions are not rewarded and are seldom thanked. Whenever possible, a single, concise answer is provided rather than several independently derived ones
- Wikianswers operates on the assumption that most questions are asked repeatedly. Whenever the same question is asked again, the asker is redirected to the original question. Questions with spelling errors can be moved or redirected to one with a correct spelling
- Answers on Wikianswers can be updated and corrected at any time
- Questions on Wikianswers are deleted by admins or tools that they operate. Questions can be recommended for deletion, but the final decision is up to a human operator. As answers are community-created and edited, any inappropriate answer can be removed by anyone
- Once asked, questions on Wikianswers remain indefinitely. They are not deleted after a certain amount of time has passed (though they may be removed if they were time sensitive and aren't likely to be asked again, like "Will the world end in 2012?")