An online forum for elderly people has been shut down because of “racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic comments” – proving that you’re never too old to become an online troll.
Saga, a company for the over-50s which offers holiday packages, insurance and healthcare, closed its Saga Zone social network because offensive comments from some users began to reflect badly on the brand.
“There were comments you wouldn’t expect people to make to anybody’s face. Some were offensive to racial groups and religious communities and there were some intended to upset particular individuals,” spokesman Paul Green said. “When those comments are posted on a branded site such as Saga, they leave the impression that we sanction those views.”
Users of Saga Zone, which launched in 2007 as a rival to Facebook, said they had lost a “real lifeline for many isolated or housebound people”.
“There is always someone who has suffered from what you are suffering from and can give their angle,” commented user GillianD on a post about the forum’s end.
Saga said there are no plans to revive the site, whose regular visitors number in the few hundreds. But Mr Green said that despite “vicious” debates on subjects such as the Middle East, the network was “closed more in sadness than anything else”.