Twitter ordered to reveal person behind JD Wetherspoon parody account

JD Wetherspoon

Friday, December 14, 2018

The identity of a mystery tweeter responsible for a fake JD Wetherspoon Twitter account will be revealed to the pub chain following a judge's ruling.

The @Wetherspoon_UK Twitter account amassed tens of thousands of followers while sending "abusive" replies to customers and posting false updates using the name "Tom" since 2014, the High Court was told.

Although the account is in no way affiliated with the pub chain, customers have regularly mistaken the account for the real company.

JD Wetherspoon's barrister David Hirst said one tweet claiming that staff would not be wearing poppies around Remembrance Day led to a man attending the company's annual general meeting and asking "very heated questions" of the board.

Another of the tweets made reference to the England manager Gareth Southgate, and read: "Anyone wearing a waistcoat in ANY of our pubs will receive one free drink during the England-Croatia match."

The Twitter page, which is still active, states in capitals that it is a parody account "not associated" with JD Wetherspoon.

The owner of the parody account told the Press Association that they would "happily have had a conversation" with the pub chain.

They added: "They [Twitter] just usually suspend me if they decide I've overstepped the mark and I restart and go again."


'Anyone in their right mind can see it's a parody'

Social media expert John Morter appeared on the Mike Graham show to discuss the story.

"It's a can of worms that Wetherspoons have opened. There's a good 20 to 25 Wetherspoons parody accounts. If they get rid of this guy he'll only come back again and I wouldn't blame him," Mr Morter said.

"It's obviously a parody account, it's funny, anyone in their right mind can see it's a parody."