Molly has today challenged Wetherspoons chairman and major donor to the Leave campaign, Tim Martin, to reassure customers that their data was not ‘harvested’ to support the Brexit campaign. The South West based pub giant has today announced it will close all its social media channels. However, the announcement comes as revelations continue to emerge on the role Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ played in harvesting data as well as revelations that Vote Leave exceeded spending limits in the run-up to the EU referendum.
“This is no pint-sized problem for arch Brexiter Tim Martin. He has consistently used his 900 or so pubs to try and force anti-EU rhetoric down customers’ throats. Perhaps instead of beer mats imprinted with Brexit propaganda he should use them to publicise the fact he has donated almost £400,000 to Vote Leave which is now under investigation for dodgy tactics and breaching spending limits ‘on an industrial scale’.
“There are also serious questions to answer as to why Tim Martin has chosen this moment to call time on Wetherspoons’ social media accounts. The suggestion that he is concerned about the potentially addictive nature of social media seems hard to square with his massive chain of pubs that offer low prices for alcoholic drinks.
“Given the on-going scandal over Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and AIQ harvesting data, customers will need to be reassured that no data was collected through Wetherspoons in order to help the Leave campaign.”