JD Wetherspoon to close Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of all its 900 pubs after online abuse of MPs

Pub chain says move takes into account concerns over misuse of data and addictive nature of social media

Samuel Osborne
Monday 16 April 2018 07:43 BST
JD Wetherspoon to close Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of all its 900 pubs after online abuse of MPs

JD Wetherspoon is closing its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for all its 900 pubs and head office following the abuse directed at MPs and others.

The pub chain said the move also takes into account recent concerns over the misuse of personal data and the addictive nature of social media.

Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoon, said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.

“I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.

“We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times.

“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.”

Wetherspoon has more than 44,000 followers on Twitter and more than 100,000 on Facebook.

Its most popular posts have received more than 500,000 views.

Mr Martin took the decision following recent publicity over the use of social media to criticise MPs and others, especially those from religious or ethnic minorities.

While there was no specific case that angered the Wetherspoon boss, he said he became increasingly concerned after reading reports of MPs being targeted for online abuse.

Mr Martin previously claimed food prices would fall after Britain leaves the European Union.

He also said Britain’s future success post-Brexit will rely on immigration, which he said was a “good thing” for the country.

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