Violence at Capitol and beyond reignites debate over America's defense of extremist speech
With most Americans hoping this week's expected inauguration protests look nothing like the Capitol siege, questions emerge about unrestrained free expression, long championed by First Amendment theorists as a benefit to society, no matter how ugly and hateful. © Chris Kleponis/Sipa USA/AP Protestors storm the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The joint session of the House and Senate was sent to recess after the breach as it convened to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election.
Discord has banned the server used by the controversial subreddit r/WallStreetBets for what it says are repeated violations of the company’s hate speech policies. The ban comes as the subreddit’s moderators briefly took the group private, saying they were struggling to keep up with an influx of new users. Reddit's r/WallStreetBets subreddit.
A spokesperson for Discord said the ban was not a result of “financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks,” but added that the company is “monitoring this situation” and will “cooperate with authorities as appropriate.”
“The WallStreetBets server has been on our Trust & Safety team’s radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin.
Elon Musk Tweets About GameStop and Etsy, Their Stocks Surge
The Tesla boss' tweets came as retail investors from a Reddit community poured funds into GameStop.Trading was volatile this week as investors from the Reddit community r/wallstreetbets poured funds into video game retailer GameStop (GME), sending shares soaring by over 400 percent in seven days—and resulting in disruption of short sellers.
“Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings. To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors. We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.”
In an update posted on Reddit, Wall Street Bets moderators said that “Discord was the first casualty” of its success. “You know as well as I do that if you gather 250k people in one spot someone is going to say something that makes you look bad,” they wrote. “Discord did us dirty and I am not impressed with them destroying our community instead of stepping in with the wrench we may have needed to fix things.”
GameStop stock's Reddit surge is a terrifying new Occupy Wall Street
Commentary: The stock gain is rooted in disdain for existing financial institutions, tapping into the same emotions as the protests from a decade ago.When the Reddit stock trading community WallStreetBets kicked off a coordinated effort to drive up GameStop's stock, part of the appeal was the idea of devastating short sellers -- investors who place bets on a stock's price going down -- and by extension the broader financial institution. This is as much about making money as it is, as one Redditor put it, making it so "the old guys drown in their tears.
The moderators, who briefly took WSB private due to “technical difficulties,” said they were unable to keep up with the flood of new comments and posts coming into the group, which has grown to more than 3.7 million users on Reddit.
A Reddit spokesperson didn’t address WSB directly, but said the company cooperates with investigations. "Reddit’ssite-wide policies prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transactions,” a Reddit spokesperson said. “We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."
The subreddit, which dates back to 2012, has been credited with pushing GameStop’s stock to record highs in a move that has cost hedge funds billions. There’s been a huge amount of debate about the legality of what’s gone on in r/WallStreetBets and what, if anything, regulators should do about it, but regulators do seem to be taking notice. The S.E.C. put out a statement saying they were “actively monitoring the on-going market volatility,” without specifically mentioning GameStop. The Biden Administration is also reportedly keeping an eye on the situation.
GameStop, Reddit, and Robinhood are testifying to Congress today. Here's what to expect. .
Reddit may side with individual investors, Robinhood might try to condemn hedge funds, and Congress will likely call for market stability.The CEOs of Reddit, Robinhood, Melvin Capital, and Citadel will testify following an unexpected rally of GameStop stock driven by individual investors.