Pub Chain Wetherspoon Calls Time on Social Media

  • U.K. budget pub chain also quits Twitter, Instragram accounts
  • Follows recent exits from Facebook over misuse of data fears

JD Wetherspoon Plc just called closing time on its social media accounts.

The operator of about 900 pubs across the U.K. and Ireland shut down its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts on Monday, citing recent online “trolling” of U.K. lawmakers and minorities, as well as concerns around misuse of personal data.

The decision follows the recent #DeleteFacebook movement which saw companies like Tesla Inc. and Playboy Enterprises Inc. remove their accounts. But Wetherspoon went a step further by including Twitter and Instagram in its social media boycott.

Tim Martin

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business,” Chairman and Founder Tim Martin said in a statement. “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever,” he said. The company had about 103,000 Facebook followers on Monday, before the page became unavailable.

The firm “will still be as vocal as ever” through its news magazine, Martin said. The 62-year-old is an outspoken supporter of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, having previously distributed a “Brexit manifesto” printed on the pub chain’s beer coasters.

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