JD Wetherspoon will be closing down all its social media accounts for its 900 pubs and head office following the trolling of MPs and others.
It was announced on Monday that the popular pub chain will be removing its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts following 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.”
The pub chain said in a statement that rather than using social media, it will continue to release news stories and information through its website and printed magazine.
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.
The Wetherspoon boss didn’t reveal any specific case which was cause for concern, but reported that he had become increasingly apprehensive after reading reports of MPs being targeted for online abuse.
The pub chain was forced to deny claims that it banned its staff from wearing poppies after a social media hoax sparked outrage last year.
A parody Twitter account said that its employees would not be wearing Remembrance Day poppies due to the “ever expanding multiculturalism of our clientele”.
Furious customers threatened to boycott Wetherspoon pubs.
There were suggestions that the move to delete its social media accounts might have been influenced by customer complaints, which are visible on social media platforms.
The official JD Wetherspoon Facebook page was still active on Monday morning and showed a rating of 1.7 out of five stars. 56 of the 73 reviews had the lowest ranking of 1 star.