Pub chain JD Wetherspoon says it is closing down all its social media accounts following the “trolling” of MPs and ethnic minorities.
The Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts for all 900 pubs and head office are shutting down with immediate effect, the pub operator said.
The move also takes account of recent concerns over the misuse of personal data and the addictive nature of social media.
A spokesman for the chain told Sky News: “We’ve noticed a lot of MPs get trolled and some receive some nasty comments and the company doesn’t like what’s going on – we don’t like the general climate of social media.”
The spokesman confirmed the decision was not related to any specific incident and no JD Wetherspoon account itself was involved in the trolling of any MPs or ethnic or religious minorities.
Senior managers of the chain were consulted, with some in favour of the decision and some against it.
Chairman Tim Martin said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.
“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.
“We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times.
“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.”
Wetherspoon has more than 44,000 Twitter followers and more than 100,000 followers on Facebook.