Pubco JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has taken down all of its social media accounts for its pubs and headquarters, following the "trolling" of MPs and ethnic minorities on the platforms.
Chairman Tim Martin made the step to shut down Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for its 900 pubs and head office following consultation with the managers of the sites.
The main JDW accounts had 44,000 followers on Twitter and 100,000 followers on Facebook. Since making the announcement this morning (16 April) the accounts have already closed.
It is understood that some staff were in support of the move while others were against the total shut down after consultation on the issue.
The move follows JDW's decision to delete all of its email data last summer, claiming it no longer wanted to communicate with customers in this way.
Tim said of the decision to close the social accounts: "We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.
“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office.
"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."
Tim said that the pubco will continue to publish its Wetherspoon News magazine, and work with the press.
Tim continued: "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."
A spokesperson for the pubco said the firm “didn't like the general climate of social media”.
Reaction to the decision has been generally supportive, and has included some signalling whether this will see a new age of post-social engagement: