From the flaming ashes of the GameStop stock clusterfuck, the WallStreetBets Discord group returns from the dead.
It’s been a rough morning for anyone trying to get rich by pouring money into garbage stocks. Over the last week or so, we’ve seen a remarkable run on stocks like GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry that has sent their market caps soaring. But a crackdown by Robinhood and other investment apps for retail investors has led to those stonks plummetting on Thursday. There’s still a little hope, though. Discord has decided to allow the WallStreetBets group to continue to have a home on its platform after giving them the boot less than 24 hours ago.
This whole scheme to screw over hedge funds and pump the value of GameStop stock started with the WallStreetBets Reddit forum which had a sister channel on Discord. On Wednesday night, Discord decided that ban the group for violating its hate speech policies and failing to implement proper moderation standards. Now, a Discord spokesperson tells Gizmodo that members of the group have set up a new server, and “we will welcome the group back so long as they improve their moderation practices and follow our Community Guidelines.” What’s more, the spokesperson said that Discord will “provide them with support and advice, like we do for many of our large communities.”
I don’t know if this is a victory for free speech, but all the tech journalists who are dreading the day that this saga turns into a story about Section 230 are breathing a small sigh of relief.
While Discord’s argument for shutting down the group in the first place was pretty solid the WallStreetBets crowd still entertained conspiracy theories that Discord was doing hedge funders a favour. No points to Discord because they suck at enforcing their moderation on most days, but the banned forum was a toxic place experiencing rapid growth. Today, they have legitimate reasons to feel like they’re being screwed over by Robinhood and its trader partners. The decision to halt trading and, thus, wipe out gains is going to be debated and litigated and studied and argued over for a long time to come. And now some of that debate can happen on Discord.