Everyone can have Internet access…well not really…

Well apparently not everyone can have Internet access in the world these days. The Daily Mail reported in an article this week that a 70-year-old woman was denied Internet access because she couldn’t understand the risks involved. But never fear, the ISP said that they would allow the woman to have access if she was accompanied by a younger family member who could EXPLAIN the simple subscription form and the fine print to her. Uh-huh…

So this 70-year-old woman who has traveled to Russia & walked along the Great Wall of China isn’t allowed Internet access because she can’t understand the small print? The reason behind this “policy” is because the ISP wanted to “protect” its senior customers to prevent any complaints it has received about mis-selling its products. Wait, I still don’t understand how that has any correlation. In order to prevent these complaints, you need to ban (or at least have your employees use their discretion) senior citizens from accessing the Internet? Rather than banning these potential customers, why don’t you try and educate them on what they are getting and help them get what they need. The problem isn’t with the senior citizens but with your company’s employees who may be selling these products to your customers.

Now with senior citizens being online and thrust into the spotlight, how will advertisers reach this new market online? There’s always something to worry about with advertising to senior citizens. With phishing, spam mail, and pop-up ads that seniors are being more aware of and avoiding, it would be interesting to hear how effective online advertising can be…or does traditional advertising still hold as the primary way to reach them?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.