Reddit's WallStreetBets is back, taking on GameStop stock after intentional lockdown
But the community has been banned from Discord as AMC, GameStop stocks go wild.
Ian SherrContributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
For the past week, Reddit's r/WallStreetBets community has been the center of an epic war between large Wall Street investors and small-scale social media betters. On Wednesday evening, the community reeled from seeing the subreddit locked and hidden, only to be made public again about an hour later. Meanwhile, chat app Discord has banned WallStreetBets outright.
Around the same time, spooked investors appeared to dump GameStop and AMC shares the community had been buying up to take on people betting against the company's futures.
Then, as suddenly as everything began, the subreddit came back, a new Discord community was formed, and others bought in to the stocks, sending AMC and GameStop prices back up.
If all this is confusing, don't feel bad. These fast and dramatic moves are happening amid one of the most dramatic weeks on Wall Street in years. At stake are millions of dollars that small-time investors working together on social media have made while taking on Wall Street investors who bet GameStop and AMC stock would plummet. Instead, as the two company's stocks have soared, the Wall Street investors have reportedly hemorrhaged billions of dollars.
Watch this: What does GameStop's skyrocketing stock have to do with a subreddit?
As the drama unfolded from the Discord ban and the Reddit community going on lockdown, GameStop shares fell 32% in after-hours trading late Wednesday, to $218.32 per share, down from $347.51 at their close. During the day, they'd more than doubled. AMC shares also fell, dropping more than 40%, to $11.90 per share, after closing at $19.90. That stock had risen more than 301% during the day.
Both stocks have recovered somewhat, and the r/WallStreetBets community is back. If you'd taken an hour and a half to watch Pixar's new movie, Soul, you'd have missed it.
All this wasn't the only bad news for the WallStreetBets community. Its worst community members, who repeatedly broke Discord's rules, caused the group to be banned from the platform, the chat app company said in a statement. "Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings," Discord said. It added that the ban had nothing to do with any talk of finances or stock that happened among WallStreetBets users.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla who's helped to drive attention to the GameStop stock madness, tweeted his disappointment with Discord Wednesday.