Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin: We'll shut down our social media after privacy, addiction and trolling concerns

Alys Key
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Tim Martin said that closing the accounts would not affect the business (Source: Getty)

JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin today slammed social media sites as he vowed to shut down the pub chain's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

In the wake of the Facebook privacy scandal as well as the use of social media to troll figures including MPs, Martin said this morning that all accounts would be shut down with immediate effect.

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business," he said.

Speaking to City A.M., Martin confirmed that the decision was a direct result of a hacking incident in 2015, which prompted the company to later delete its entire customer database.

"It didn't do our trade any harm at all. The marketing world was aghast at our behaviour thinking it was madness."

Following the move, Wetherspoon consulted managers of its pubs to ask if anything would be lost by leaving social media. Martin said managers had agreed it would not affect the business.

"On a commercial basis it saves people in the company time and that will enable them to get on with our own jobs," he added.

Read more: Forget Facebook – it’s tech-illiterate politicians we should worry about

He also criticised technology companies for the addictive nature of social media platforms.

When City A.M. asked Martin what he would say to Mark Zuckerberg over a pint, he said: "I'd say, Mark, far be it from me to take the high moral ground. I've nothing against you personally, but most of your customers would be better off having a couple of pints in Wetherspoon's and talking to each other, rather than jousting in cyberspace."

The company promised to remain active through its in-house magazine Wetherspoon News, and would also be maintaining its app and website

Read more: A well known MP is renewing pressure on Twitter over abuse

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