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finally came to terms with the sobering truth: they were the Nickelback of tech. And just as Nickelback fans ultimately abandon them for the Foo Fighters, most of Yahoo’s users have slowly osmosed over to Google. With private messaging, a common area to chat with and meet new people, and personal profiles, Yahoo had a sort of Web 1.0 social network in the early 2000s.

Still clinging desperately to existence are mobile versions that sit alongside 100 other, better mobile chat apps, and it’s only a matter of time before they themselves disappear.

Yahoo’s cycle of acquisition and destruction of once-promising products is as predictable as an episode of Scooby Doo. We can debate endlessly about which CEO was the one to push Yahoo off a cliff, but why did the company consistently attract such duds in the first place?

How could a company as successful as Yahoo once was, one of the first huge brand names on the internet, be so cursed?

Spectacular downfalls are bait and fodder for know-it-all pundits who put forth their personal theories in a bid for credibility, or at least notability, in the same way Perez Hilton rose to fame milking Britney Spears’s own downfall. Internet pundits all think they know the precise moment that Yahoo went from being the zeitgeist of the Zombo Com era to the new Blockbuster Video. There can be no better illustration of Yahoo’s bad programmers at work than the existence of the once infamous chat booters. This is a chat booter: The above carnage is what an unlucky Yahoo Messenger or Chat user would see when an internet miscreant — usually an unemployed, involuntarily celibate 37 year old in his parents’ basement — decided to “boot” them.

Inevitably, blame will usually be laid at the feet of some embarrassing strategic blunder. Here is a video of someone being booted, to give you the full effect: Chat booters are a form of junkware that exploit the many holes in Yahoo Messenger’s design to barrage the recipient with a Zerg rush of garbage data until their Yahoo client freezes up and shuts down.

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