British pubs group JD Wetherspoon has closed all its social media accounts, saying it was taking a stand against an industry accused of mis-using personal data and allowing bullying to run rife. Sonia Legg reports
(BBC / REUTERS) – It’s the pub chain which prefers conversation to music.
But now Britain’s Wetherspoon has taken a step many companies would be reluctant to consider.
J D WETHERSPOON FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, TIM MARTIN ,
“Many of us are fed up with social media and think it’s got damaging effects and a lot of people are on it far far too much. It doesn’t do them any good. It doesn’t do the country any good.”
Wetherspoon announced it was dropping social media on Twitter – then promptly closed the account.
It’s also ending its Facebook and Instagram accounts for its head office and its 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT, SHARON O’DEA,
“I get the impression over the years quite a lot of businesses have struggled to really understand what measurable value social media actually delivers for them and their bottom line. The changing rules around data and the Facebook scandal have given people an opportunity to step back and think really is this the right kind of thing of us do we need to rethink our approach.”
The Chairman – a staunch supporter of Brexit – doesn’t think his business will suffer.
“There’s far too much time spent on social media anyway, you know everyone knows Wetherspoon, the concept and I think you’d do very well without it.”
“People can use offers etc on there and that’s way a great way of them advertising it, and if they’re coming off it, it’s at their own loss really.”
News that millions of users’ personal information was gathered from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica contributed to the decision,
along with the industry’s failure to curb hate speech or take down malicious content.
And last year, Wetherspoon was forced to issue it’s own denial.
A spoof Twitter account falsely claimed the company was not allowing staff to wear commemorative poppies at work