Chat app Discord banned the r/WallStreetBets server for “hate speech,” while the Reddit message board briefly went invite-only Wednesday, amid balooning interest in the community of retail traders fueling the GameStop stock frenzy turning the market on its head this week.
In a statement obtained by the Verge, a Discord spokesperson said it “did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks.”
The group was instead banned for “hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation” after “multiple warnings” to the server over the past few months, the spokesperson said.
A moderator of the group acknowledged “if you gather 250k people in one spot someone is going to say something that makes you look bad,” but added that “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, especially after we got over 1,000 server boosts. That is pretty unethical.”
On Reddit, the r/WallStreetBets subreddit briefly went private because it was experiencing “technical difficulties based on unprecedented scale as a result of newfound interest in WSB,” but returned nearly an hour later.
The subreddit’s moderators said it went private because they couldn’t keep up with an overwhelming number of comments and submissions.
“That room was golden and the people that run it are awesome. We blocked all bad words with a bot, which should be enough, but apparently if someone can say a bad word with weird unicode icelandic characters and someone can screenshot it you don’t get to hang out with your friends anymore,” a moderator wrote about the Discord server.
r/WallStreetBets has more than 3.5 million members on Reddit as of Wednesday.
Retail traders, mostly on forums like Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets, have juiced up the price of GameStop, AMC and others this week after finding out that institutional Wall Street hedge funds heavily shorted them. The Reddit-fueled craze has pushed GameStop’s shares up 1640% in two weeks, causing massive losses for investors, such as hedge fund Melvin Capital, that stood to make money off the stock going down.