THERE IS A SAYING, "If you build it, they will come." In the world of the internet, "they" can sometimes lead to trouble.
Over 50s group Saga has found that out at its Saga Zone, a sort of Facebook for the older generation.
The Saga Zone was supposed to be a place where Saga users and readers could get together and socially network with "like-minded people".
What it turned into was a teeth-bared, argumentative chat hell full of intolerant zealots and troublemakers, apparently.
"Recently there have been complaints about content, particularly though not exclusively racism and religious intolerance, posted in the Soapbox and Debate Zone," said a post on the Saga Zone homepage.
"We closed these areas of the site but people continued to post controversial and offensive content on other areas of the site."
According to the post the goings on at Saga Zone are not the sort of thing that Saga wants to be associated with. Thus, it had no alternative but to make it a one-way communication system.
"A social networking site is about freedom of speech and there are many places on the web where people can express their views in a robust and unfettered manner. However, Saga Zone is in a Saga branded environment and when members post content that others find offensive on a company's website it can impact how the company itself is viewed," it added.
"We are sad that the site has been used to post offensive messages and that we cannot continue to run Saga Zone with the threat to the brand that this content poses. This means that from today the forums are now 'read only' so you can no longer post comments."
The website will be shut down on 26 February. Users are advised that they can retrieve whatever content they have on their accounts. µ