Wetherspoon shuts down social media accounts amid trolling and data misuse fears

The pub chain said it did not believe the move would adversely affect the business.

Press Association
Last updated: 16 April 2018 - 10.36am

JD Wetherspoon is closing down its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts for all its 900 pubs and head office with immediate effect following the trolling of MPs and others.

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

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin 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 Twitter followers and more than 100,000 followers 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.

There was no specific case which angered the Wetherspoon boss, but he had become increasing concerned after reading reports of MPs being targeted for online abuse.