A major chain of pubs in the U.K. is saying goodbye to social media because of online bullying targeting members of parliament and minorities. According to the BBC, JD Wetherspoon has expunged its Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles, a decision that was influenced in part by the “misuse of personal data” and the “addictive nature of social media.” The chain, which operates about 900 outlets in Britain and Ireland, announced the decision on its now-deleted Twitter April 16.
The company will release news and event information through its website and in its print magazine, Wetherspoon News. Chairman Tim Martin, who founded the chain in 1979, supposedly never thought social media was necessary for advertising. He doesn’t believe nixing an online presence will affect business at all.
"I don't believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers,” he said, according to Sky News. “It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.”
The decision to pull the plug on social media was apparently mulled over for some time before making a move. Martin told the BBC he spoke with Wetherspoon pub managers beforehand and 90 to 95 percent supported the decision. Prior to their removal, the company had about 44,000 followers on Twitter, 6,000 on Instagram, and 100,000 on Facebook.
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