WallStreetBets, the Reddit message board responsible for fueling a massive short squeeze in the video game retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) and other highly shorted stocks, is getting ample support on social media after it briefly went invite-only Wednesday. The discussion board was also removed from Discord’s servers the same day.
In a statement obtained by the Verge, a Discord spokesperson said it “did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop (up more than 8,300% year-over-year) or other stocks.” The group was instead banned because it kept allowing “hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation” after “multiple warnings” to the server over the past few months, the spokesperson said.
Although r/WallStreetBets, which has more than 3.5 million members on Reddit, was taken off of Discord’s service, the subreddit now links to what appears to be a new official server.
The unfair actions seem to have helped fuel a chain reaction from a number of celebrities, politicians, investors, and execs who rallied to r/WallStreetBets’ defense. Here is what they are saying:
In a video posted on Twitter Wednesday, Barstool’s Dave Portnoy predicted that Thursday “will be intergalactic” for AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC), GameStop, and Nokia (NOK).
(Im not a financial adviser. Don’t listen to me) pic.twitter.com/oYrsPOz8Vx
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 28, 2021
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban said he believes the Reddit message board — which is fair to say has briefly freaked out many on Wall Street — benefits “the little guy” competing against big financial firms. The investor noted that even his 11-year old made money trading with r/WallStreetBets.
I got to say I LOVE LOVE what is going on with #wallstreetbets. All of those years of High Frequency Traders front running retail traders,now speed and density of information and retail trading is giving the little guy an edge. Even my 11 yr old traded w them and made $
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 28, 2021
Elon Musk also expressed disappointment with Discord’s decision.
“Even Discord has gone corpo..,” the Tesla CEO tweeted.
Earlier, Musk had tweeted in support of the community pushing GameStop’s shares (up $121 points, or 34.91%, at $468.84 pre-market) higher.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021
The Reddit board also received the support of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14th District).
Gotta admit it’s really something to see Wall Streeters with a long history of treating our economy as a casino complain about a message board of posters also treating the market as a casino
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 27, 2021
In an interview with CNBC’s “Fast Money”, billionaire tech investor and SPAC King Chamath Palihapitiya strongly defended retail traders’ right to sway stocks like pros.
“Instead of having ‘idea dinners’ or quiet whispered conversations amongst hedge funds in the Hamptons these kids have the courage to do it transparently in a forum,” said Palihapitiya.
“What it proves is this retail [investor] phenomenon is here to stay. There are 2.7 million people inside wallstreetbets. I think they are as important as any hedge or collection of hedge funds.”
Palihapitiya also said that despite Wall Street’s endless supply of resources, data, and technology the best research on stocks done by retail investors inside wallstreetbets is nearly indistinguishable from the best firms on Wall Street.
“That edge is gone. Now all of a sudden, retail can be on the same footing and they don’t have to be the ‘bag holder’ to Wall Street.”