Wetherspoons Decides it Needs to Personally Save Society by... Ditching Social Media?

By Tom Pritchard on at

When you think of companies that do whatever they can to set a good example to the general public, you'll think of companies that actually spend a load of money and do good things - even if their reasoning is inherently selfish and serves some sort of business goal like Apple investing in its own renewable energy production. You're not likely to think of Wetherspoons, which is more associated with drunken fighting and selling you dodgy steaks.

But Wetherspoons has decided it needs to do something about the state of modern society, and with that in mind it's decided that social media is BAD. So it's closing all the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts for all 900 of its pubs. This news was announced on Twitter, but you can't go and have a look for yourself because the corporate Twitter account has already been deleted. Here's a screenshot instead:

The pub chain has decided that social media is really bad, citing bad behaviour (like the trolling of MPs) and the misuse of personal data. So it's leading the charge by showing businesses that they don't need to use social media to be successful. Then again it's hard not to be a successful Wetherspoons, because they're fucking everywhere, and they're all exactly the same. Except in the airport, where they're somehow a lot worse. Same menu, same deals, same decor, and what feels like the same clientele. You can't really compare it to, say, your local microbrewery or family-run pub that's been open for 200 years.

But Wetherspoons is adamant you don't need Facebook and Twitter. Possibly because the three Wetherspoons near me are usually filled with people who didn't grow up sharing their every thought and action on public forums. Instead it plans to use its own website to share news with the public, plus its own in-house magazine - which sounds like an expensive way of telling people when the pints will be cheap. Worst comes to worst you can always *shudder* speak to a real person by getting in touch with a local branch manager.

Chairman Tim Martin, acting like the grumpy old man he appears to be, also declared that people spend too much time on social media and "struggle to control the compulsion". I don't know about you, but I hear that as "they're not spending enough time in pubs binge drinking". Clearly the kids these days are too busy Snapbooking, Instachatting, and taking selfies to drink one too many half-pints and beat each other up in a nearby alley. Also the referendum already happened, in favour of Brexit, so Tim Martin doesn't need to use it as a propaganda tool for something else just yet.

Wetherspoons doesn't seem to be bluffing, since its social media accounts have already vanished in the three plus hours since the announcement was made, though you can't claim the handles for yourself. I tried and failed. That's partially down to the fact Twitter will give you a chance to change your mind if you leave, but it makes me wonder whether this is just a pub-licity stunt after the bad PR after last year's steak fiasco and the news customers won't be allowed to charge their phone behind the bar. Give it a few weeks and we'll see whether or not this new crusade is going to stick.


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