The GameStop stock’s explosion has had an ugly fallout

If you’ve invested the last day or more attempting to suss out if cash is genuine while enjoying a green line increase, you’re not alone. The GameStop phenomenon pitting Reddit versus hedge fund giants has everybody talking, even if it’s simply to attempt and find out what the hell is going on. However the increased exposure around the hijinks has actually had some significant consequences for individuals attempting to video game the system, and the services individuals were utilizing to do it are now closing ranks.

First, late on Wednesday night, news broke that chat app Discord banned the WallStreetBets server, where users gathered to shoot the shit and discuss their stock strategies. In a statement to The Verge, Discord said that the ban had nothing to do with potential stock market manipulation, noting that the server was full of “hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation.”

“We decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” a Discord rep said.

While users admit that hate speech appeared on the massive community, they also allege that the chat had measures in place to try and stop it. But since the community was so massive, that was a futile task. As one moderator wrote on Reddit, “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.”

For a brief while, the subreddit dedicated to the scheme went private on Wednesday, but as of Thursday morning, it’s back up. The posts at the moment are largely angry, thanks to a new and surprising development: Services like Robinhood have restricted trades for GameStop and other meme stocks, such as AMC Theatres. At the moment, you cannot search for GameStop on Robinhood, nor can you buy shares. You can only close out and sell your shares. The stock prices have remained high compared to what they were a few weeks ago, but they are lower than they have been earlier in the week.

Robinhood says it did this to tackle “market volatility,” but users are outraged. Many are pledging to delete the app outright, if not starting to think about a potential class-action lawsuit. After all, a stockbroker like Robinhood shouldn’t be able to determine what people can or cannot buy. There’s the sense that services like Robinhood are trying to protect large financial institutions, which is counter not only to its name, but also its previously stated mission of allowing everyday people to invest in the stock market. Users are now looking into other options, and urging each other to continue to hold firm despite these setbacks: Phrases like “do not sell” and “hold the line” are currently trending on social media.

Most of these moves have rested on the shoulders of big tech. But the U.S. government, including President Biden’s administration and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), is likewise keeping an eye on the situation, so it’s possible we haven’t seen the full extent of the fallout just yet. For now, though, it seems that the hijinks around the GameStop stock may be contained compared to the frenzy that unfolded previously today.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.