Fed up with social media, major U.K. pub chain deletes all of its accounts

pub chain shutters all of its social media accounts wetherspoon twitter
JD Wetherspoon

A major pub chain in the United Kingdom has suddenly shuttered all of its social media accounts after chairman Tim Martin suggested society as a whole would benefit if others followed his example.

Rejecting the widely held idea that a successful business needs a social media presence, J.D. Wetherspoon on Monday pulled the plug on hundreds of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts linked to its 900 pubs across the country. It also closed accounts associated with its head office.

The company announced the surprise move on Monday — on Twitter. It said the decision comes in the wake of “the bad publicity surrounding social media, including the ‘trolling’ of MPs and others, especially those from religious or ethnic minorities.”

It said it was also aware of recent concerns over the misuse of personal data and the “addictive nature of social media.”

In comments that may have left some people wondering if he was talking about booze rather than social media, Tim Martin told LBC Radio: “People who don’t use it feel that the people who do use it are too preoccupied by it, they’re on it too much, and people who do use it wish they could get off it.”

pub chain shutters all of its social media accounts wetherspoon instagram
JD Wetherspoon

Notably, the 62-year-old chairman said he had concerns that social media was causing some of his pub managers to be “side-tracked from the real job of serving customers,” adding that after consulting them, “90 to 95 percent” agreed the medium provided little value to the business.

They may have been right. Despite the pub chain’s prominence in the U.K., few drinkers could be bothered to follow its social media accounts, with Wetherspoon’s main Twitter feed followed by fewer than 50,000 people. On Instagram it had just 6,275 followers.

But some will suggest its content wasn’t interesting enough to attract followers, and that a more creative approach to the medium could’ve scored more interest, allowing it to publicize offers and events to attract more people to its pubs.

Going forward, the company said it would make do with posting announcements on its website and in its print magazine, or by speaking to the press directly, something the colorful chairman is already well used to doing.

Asked if there was any chance his company might one day reopen its Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, Martin told the BBC, “It’d be completely fascinating if I have to crawl back to Facebook, my goodness me, that’d be a catastrophe,” adding, “It’s not impossible — you have to keep your options open in business. If I do it, what a humiliation.”

News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.