Pub chain JD Wetherspoon deleted all of its social media profiles on Monday, with chairman Tim Martin citing the “current bad publicity surrounding social media, including the trolling of MPs and others” as one of the reasons behind the move.
The company closed down its Twitter and Facebook accounts, which had 44,000 and 100,000 followers, respectively, as well as its Instagram feed, for all of its 900 pubs and head office.
It added that recent concerns regarding the misuse of personal data, following the Facebook scandal, and the addictive nature of social media had influenced its decision.
Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon
Mr Martin said: “It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.”
The boss of the British discount pub chain said that it was “going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business”. He, and the company’s pub managers, do not believe that closing the accounts will have any affect on the business “whatsoever”, he said.
“We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine. We will also be maintaining our website and the Wetherspoon app and encourage customers to get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub,” he added.
Wetherspoon has been at the centre of social media controversy in the past, when a parody Twitter account under the name of @Wetherspoon_UK, which has since been suspended, tweeted that the pub chain’s staff would not be able to wear poppies on Remembrance Day while at work.
The tweet said: “Due to the ever expanding multiculturalism of our clientele and employees this year our staff will not be wearing the poppy.”
The fake tweet prompted widespread anger online and calls from customers to boycott the chain’s outlets. JD Wetherspoon was forced to publicly deny the claims, writing on Twitter: “We do support the Poppy Appeal in all of our pubs. Please ignore spoof sites.”
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