JD Wetherspoon shutters social media accounts citing ‘addictive nature’ of Facebook and Twitter
HOME OF THE CHEAP PINT JD Wetherspoon has announced the shut down of its social media accounts because it reckons people “spend too much time” on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The move to kill the social media accounts of all 900 of its pubs was, according to a variety of reports, prompted as a form of protest against the hurling of abuse at MPs and others via social networks.
Data misuse and the perceived addictive nature of sharing, liking, posting and spouting nonsense on online platforms, was also apparently a reason for the move.
“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office,” the JD Wetherspoon Twitter account posted before it was shut down; the irony seemingly lost on the pub brand.
JD Wetherspoon chairman and founder Tim Martin said the company was going “against conventional wisdom” that a social media presence is important to a business’s success and noted that not having Facebook or Twitter accounts will have no effect on the pub firms businesses. Given how much Brits like to drink, we reckon he’s got a point.
He doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of social media either: “It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.”
You could argue that people spend a lot of time in pubs as well, but that’s a conversation for another time, perhaps over a cold beer and some cheap pub grub.
Given the company’s Twitter account had a mere 44,000 followers and its Facebook page some 100,000 followers, hardly stellar numbers for a big brand, one could argue that the pub chain’s departure for social media is a bit of a storm in a teacup… or should that be pint glass.
But the whole thing could represent a backlash against social networks and the activities of the companies linked to them, especially following the Cambridge Analytics scandal over the use of Facebook data. Time will tell if other companies follow suit, or if Wetherspoons is simply being a bit of a tech curmudgeon of a company. µ

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