London, Feb 6: Britain’s Saga has closed its social networking website it had set up as a rival to Facebook for over 50s because of some “racist, homophobic and anti-semitic comments”.
Paul Green, a spokesman for the company, explained that ‘there were some particularly vicious exchanges recently made about the Middle East and some people were banned after accusations of making anti-semitic or anti-arab comments’.
He said that ‘the majority is a good group of people, but a minority caused concern with offensive and potentially illegal racist or homophobic comments’.
According to the Telegraph, he added that they even discovered what he believed are called trolls with multiple online personalities, because messages were coming from the same computer, sometimes with names from both sexes.
Green said that an online free-for-all might be alright for other social networks such as Twitter, but expectations are different when there is the Saga logo in the top right-hand corner, the report said.
He said that ‘nobody was suspended for criticising Saga services. That had no bearing whatsoever on the closure of that part of the website’.
He added that they had problems with offensive messages posted on the Saga Zone and issues with the timely moderation of the site and so they decided to shut the site.
Green said that ‘this means that from the forums will now be ‘read only’ and no one can any longer post comments. However, users can access their accounts to retrieve their content. The site will be switched off from Feb uary 26, 2013.’
Saga Zone, as the online forum was known, had ‘many thousands’ of registered viewers, but only ‘low hundreds’ of regular contributors, the report added. (ANI)