Robinhood App Decides To Stop Helping The Poor Steal From The Rich

from the everything-is-a-content-moderation-story dept

I had been meaning to do another story on the whole GameStop/Reddit/WallStreetBets story, because there's a lot of really fascinating points on this, but my original story got pretty much wiped away this morning when Robinhood, the popular stock trading app that promotes itself as a way of democratizing stock trading and providing free trades -- and which was the main app used by Redditors to drive up the prices of various stocks that a bunch of hedge funds were trying to short -- announced that it was blocking the trades in all of the volatile stocks that Redditors were driving up. It did so in the most ridiculous of statements, claiming that they were pausing buying of those stocks to "[help] our customers navigate this uncertainty."

Amid significant market volatility, it’s important as ever that we help customers stay informed. That’s why we’re committed to providing people with educational resources. We recently revamped and expanded Robinhood Learn to help people take advantage of the hundreds of financial resources we offer and educate themselves, including how to make sense of a volatile market. In 2020, more than 3.2 million people read our articles through Robinhood Learn.

We’re committed to helping our customers navigate this uncertainty. We fundamentally believe that everyone should have access to financial markets. We’re humbled to have helped many people invest in the markets for the first time. And we’re determined to provide new and experienced investors with the tools and resources to help them invest responsibly for their long-term financial futures.

Bull and Shit. The people buying into this stuff didn't need help "navigating this uncertainty." This was a protest. This actually was what happens when you "democratize finance" and stop letting the big giant firms abuse the system for profit. And it turns out that that's not what Robinhood really wanted after all.

As incredible as it seems, it turns out that even this is a content moderation story.

Also, I can pretty much guarantee that Robinhood is going to be hit with a whole bunch of class action lawsuits, probably before the day is out. (Actually, they were hit by lawsuits before even this post was out!)

Many people have recognized that while there's a lot going on here, at least some of what's happening is legitimately smaller individual investors giving a big giant "fuck you" to the big Wall Street hedge funds that were treating the market as a plaything with which to get ever richer. I heard someone jokingly note yesterday that Reddit and Robinhood together accounted for more wealth distribution from the rich to the poor in the past week than the Democratic Party has in years.

And, like every other time that gatekeepers' walls are knocked down, the gatekeepers freak out. This is Hollywood freaking out about Napster all over again. Yesterday the big news was that Discord banned the r/WallStreetBets server, which was where many of the Redditors were gathering (outside of Reddit). The company claimed -- somewhat ridiculously -- that the ban was for hate speech on the server. But the timing of it made that look like a very weak fig leaf. Considering how many gamers use Discord (its original target market), I can assure you that other servers have a lot more hate speech than the WallStreetBets one did.

Then, last night, we had the totally expected old school "Hollywood reacting to Napster" response when NASDAQ's CEO, Adena Friedman, said that they should halt trading in GameStop and the other targeted stocks to allow investors to "recalibrate their positions."

Funny how they never seem to do that when it's retail investors losing their investments.

As with other situations, the events of the past few days only serve to underline how the system itself is rigged to help the big guys on Wall Street, and the second that everyone else figures out how to game the system themselves, the gatekeepers freak out and look to reassert control.

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Filed Under: content moderation, gatekeepers, hedge funds, retail investors, stonks, wallstreetbets
Companies: discord, gamestop, reddit, robinhood


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  • icon
    Beefcake (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:25am

    I guess the next sculpture should have the little girl with her phone in one hand and what makes the bull a bull in the other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:32am

    Sorry guys, you're at the stage of your winning streak playing roulette at the mafia run casino where the pit boss drags you away, bans you and tries to force you out without collecting your full winnings as you broke the unwritten rule: You're not meant to go there and win. You're meant to go, pump money in and occasionally get a few pennies from the machine to keep your hope alive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anon but not Q, 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:36am

    slight correction

    They did, in fact, hold short positions, they weren't 'trying to short' Gamestop.

    Also, hearsay says that the company that runs robinhood is also the company that bailed out the one of the firms that had a billion dollar short position in Gamestop.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:29am

      Re: slight correction

      the company that runs robinhood is also the company that bailed out the one of the firms that had a billion dollar short position in Gamestop.

      The headliners I've seen listed Melvin Capital as the bail-ee, and Citadel and Point72 being bail-ers. Are these the companies you are referring to? I could find no link (in idle google searching) between those two hedge funds and Robinhood. More details, please?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: slight correction

        To answer my own question: here is an article linking Citadel to Robinhood. And not so much an ownership link as a client/patron link.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re: slight correction

        Citadel is the biggest customer of robinhood, it seems

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: slight correction

          Citadel bought rights to get the order-flow. It means they get the orders coming in split milliseconds before RobinHood attempts to fulfill them, which allows them to possibly front-run the orders.

          Quick take on front-running as I understand it -- order is for StockA for $1, Citadel buys the stock for $1 and sells it on to the person who ordered it for $1.01 (since most transactions are "give me the best price nearest dollar value") and pockets $0.01 on the transaction without any risk. Do this a few billion times and you can get rich.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 3:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: slight correction

            I fail to understand how that isn't insider trading, as they're paying to get information before it's available to everyone else.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 7:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: slight correction

              Isn't this what that book "Flash Boys" was about? (From what I recall, the guys that wrote that book got all sorts of flack - like 'How dare you tell how we make our money!' type outrage.)

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 8:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: slight correction

              I don't know whether it's considered insider trading per se, but Robinhood paid $65 million to the SEC just last month, for "failing to satisfy its duty to seek the best reasonably available terms to execute customer orders" (and also failing to disclose the payments, although I don't think additional fine print in an EULA would have helped anyone).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jojo (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:45am

    Guess the reference

    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    riding across the land,
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Without a merry band,
    He steals from the Poor
    and gives to the rich
    Stupid Bitch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PeterScott (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:47am

    Reality check needed on this.

    While I love that some hedge funds are feeling the pain, you have to recognize that many retail investors that drove up the stock price, will have bought in at very inflated prices, and many of them will be left holding the bag when it comes crashing back to earth.

    Also likely that many instigators of this mass buy in, that were doing this to enrich themselves at the expense of late coming retail investors (and future bag holders) that they exhorted to drive the price up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:49am

      Re: Reality check needed on this.

      Definitely true, though many of them apparently bought options, so they won't actually lose that much, and they did it more to fuck with the hedge funds than to make themselves wealthy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:28am

        Correct!

        they did it more to fuck with the hedge funds than to make themselves wealthy.

        So far, I haven't seen any user on social media that genuinely thinks Gamestop is worth even $50/share. Most of these folks are gambling away their stimulus checks and stuff like that or using 401k/IRA money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 6:48am

          Re: Correct!

          Hedge funds are the one who did the gambling with shorting 140% of available stocks. As long as people keep buying retail guys can't really lose given the shorts are coming due

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re: Reality check needed on this.

        With volatility > 1000%, option premiums aren't small.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:53am

      A question to ask yourself: For what reason are you more concerned about Redditors gaming the system than about the system they’re gaming?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PeterScott (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:52am

        Re:

        I am more concerned with retail investors getting screwed when the house of cards collapses.

        I thought I was pretty clear on that.

        This is being painted as a victimless crime since it's only hedge funds getting hurt, but in reality a lot of small retail investors are likely going to get burnt as well when the inevitable collapse happens.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re:

          A lot of the posts I have seen floating on Reddit say things like "Only spend what you are prepared to lose." That makes it clear that this is not small investors who will unwittingly be hurt, but instead ones who are intentionally bearing some small pain en masse to give a big middle finger to wall street.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PeterScott (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:29am

            Re: Re: Re:

            "Only spend what you are prepared to lose."

            It's hopelessly naive to assume that everyone would heed that or even read that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              crade (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They aren't your kids, it's on them to make sure they are being responsible with their own money.. There is no deception going on here,
              If people go and blow their money all on a TV or gamestock stock they can't afford and can't pay rent thats on them

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Especially when you see articles of people to have bought in low and how the stock rising they made $$$$.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 4:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "It's hopelessly naive to assume that everyone would heed that or even read that."

              We have deliberately allowed and encouraged a system which takes advantage of unwitting consumers to bankrupt themselves en masse and your takeaway seems to be that an online "purchaser's club" on reddit needs to be blamed for doing in small scale what is done on a daily base in large scale?

              The stock market has never been about being fair. It's always, invariably, been a case of gambling at unknown odds, using the best equivalent of counting cards and skewing odds you can come up with before the SEC comes down on you for actually sneaking peeks at the card faces.

              And here we see quite clearly the equivalent of The House moving to constrain the legitimate participant who happens to be upsetting the odds of winning for the people with the Big Boy pants at the table.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 4:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                [Addendum]

                Forgot the conclusion; The stock market being able to operate in this manner is the weak point. Don't blame people for gaming the system the way the system was built to be gamed.

                Those small retail investors? Marks at the one-armed bandits, nothing more. People who have been told they can win a prize if they manage to make it on foot through the enclosure containing the polar bears and somehow missed the point that nothing will stop them from getting themselves eaten.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:29am

          Don't worry about us

          I am more concerned with retail investors getting screwed when the house of cards collapses.

          The majority of the anons doing this are not investing real money. It really is modest sums times a legion of nihilistic anons channeling the Joker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:13pm

          I am more concerned with retail investors getting screwed when the house of cards collapses.

          Again: You seem more concerned about people collapsing the house than the house being collapsible in the first place.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          amoshias (profile), 30 Jan 2021 @ 1:08pm

          Re: Re:

          The idea that "wall street" will be hurt by this is beyond hilarious.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Koby (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:58am

      Re: Reality check needed on this.

      many retail investors that drove up the stock price, will have bought in at very inflated prices, and many of them will be left holding the bag when it comes crashing back to earth.

      One of the good reasons why this short squeeze is happening is because someone has collectively shorted approximately 140% of the available stock. If the shorts are forced to capitulate now, there will theoretically be a buyer for every seller at the current price. I won't predict what will happen, other than that the hedge funds will do everything in their power to manipulate the market back in their favor. But if the longs can successfully hold out, the short interest may not leave any longs holding a bag.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 3:23pm

      Re: Reality check needed on this.

      While I love that some hedge funds are feeling the pain, you have to recognize that many retail investors that drove up the stock price, will have bought in at very inflated prices, and many of them will be left holding the bag when it comes crashing back to earth.

      Sure, that's all true, and if Robinhood added a warning and an "I know what I'm doing" checkbox, few would be complaining. Had they called it a "know your client" question, they might have been commended.

      But not only are they in a highly regulated business, they and/or their partner(s) seem to be benefit from short-selling Gamestop—meaning that stopping the buy orders is in their best interest, being a conflict of interest with the clients wanting to buy. Is it really legal for a broker to let their clients buy some stocks on a market, and prevent them from buying other stocks that are open for trading on that market? If my broker's CEO gets in a personal feud with Elon Musk, for example, would it be OK to halt buying of Tesla and give really cheap rates for shorting?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alareth (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:52am

    Apparently as of an hour ago Robinhood started automatically selling peoples GME shares "To mitigate the risk to your account"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      is there a news source you can cite, please?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 3:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Here's a mirror of the tweet that's readable without downloading a shitload of Javascript: https://nitter.net/555Sunny/status/1354854993946406917?s=20

          Chatter elsewhere suggests that it might be a margin call, which would be legal. Kind of. The bigger story may be that Robinhood is giving people margin accounts and making margin calls without adequate disclosure and informed consent. Apparently, the accounts are margin accounts by default, and stocks are silently bought on margin until incoming funds have "cleared". Super shady. Might violate "know your client" rules too. This isn't the sort of thing that can be legally hidden in the fine print.

          By contrast, my more traditional brokerage had a signup form that required separate opt-in consent for: margin; shorting; and option trading. Each had a separate legal addendum and risk document, and required me to answer additional questions about my experience with such instruments. I didn't agree to any of those. They still let me buy with uncleared funds; if I'm not paid up by settlement day, they'll charge an annual interest rate around 5% yer year (a straight financial loan, not a margin loan).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As lots of people have pointed out, that looks like a margin call, not a random forced selling. Not as big a deal as people made it out to be.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 8:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As lots of people have pointed out, that looks like a margin call

            Although the facts make you and I think "margin call", the linked screenshots sure as hell don't look like a margin call. They don't mention "margin" at all, and they seem to be hitting people that have no idea how margin works or that they'd signed up for it.

            Not as bad as selling fully-owned stocks, I agree, but let's not be surprised if SEC and Robinhood are settling claims of improper disclosure (again) later this year.

            It's about time they hire a knowledgeable person to review their user interface. Actually, they're required per SEC file 3-20171 point 45 to do that by February 15th, and then by the end of August implement the recommendations.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    brad (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:03am

    Robin Hood and Citadel

    Citadel just loaned a lot of money to those shorting Gamestop. Robinhood puts the majority of its trades through Citadel. Robinhood stopped allowign trading on the stocks Citadel's new investments were losing money to. Seems a lot more nefarious than anything a bunch of individual traders are doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I want to speak with the day trader, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:07am

    Conservative investments are being censored!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tom Fitzmaurice (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:07am

    The problem with Math, Technology, Economics and Stock Market...

    It is so easy to simplify this problem and say hey big finance and markets you are screwing the investor. When this gamestop issue is the collision of a lot of issues that Techdirt cares a lot about. Personally I find this topic fascinating and the resolution is going to be complex.... So here are some things to think about
    1) Robinhood is free! Yea!! Techdirt talks about the value of free. Small investors use Robinhood with its terms and conditions so that it is free. But how does Robinhood make money? How does the platform work? So Robinhood sells its orders to a brokerage firm that settles the trades and makes a profit for doing so. If that brokerage doesn't think it can make money, then the order flow stops (and so does Robinhood)....

    2) Robinhood is a technical platform that uses math as the primary driver for its functionality. Duh! So 100 Shares at $10 a share means my account is worth $1000. I lend users (margin) based on value so I might say that you can trade $1100 based on your account value. This is all programmatically figured out. Any risk in giving credit to an individual is borne by Robinhood for margin. Most the time no problem.

    3)Economics. Almost always Price = Value. Prices are set by markets for efficiency. People pay for convenience, security, uncertainty, risk a lot of various factors. All things being perfect Price is set by supply and demand. Stock prices are set by future valuation of what investors think a stock will be worth over various timeframes... this can vary by stock. Stock is limited so investors compete with their analysis basically setting the price...
    For GAMESTOP THIS MARKET IS BROKEN. NO ONE BELIEVES that Gamestop is worth $470 a share.... most investors think it is worth around $10 a share. Many investors think that it is worth less than that. So they sold shares they didn't own to buy them back at some future point at less than $10. A lot of people felt this way (Short Interest).

    4) Stock Market - So the short sellers sold stuff they didn't have. Reddit users bought all the Gamestop shares back and forth raising the price knowing that short sellers would need to close out their positions to limit their risk. However firms like Robinhood are also involved because their investors are holding now millions in price but thousands in value securities. Headlines scream that people are worth millions based on the math of $470 a share times 100 shares = $47,000 but all the firms know once the shorts are forced out that the stock is only worth like $10.... So what the hell happens? Robinhood has no technology separating the price from value... no way to track the risk this creates... so I halt my firm from doing business in these areas...

    Everyone is going to stop selling Gamestop. Their platforms aren't designed for this. Rules will change... but this is a much more complex issues than screwing the Reddit users.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:34am

      Re: The problem with Math, Technology, Economics and Stock Marke

      Stock is bought and sold based on speculation all the time, that is nothing special. The "real value" doesn't exist, the stock market is not based on that. If investors all panic and sell for some random reason unrelated to the stock itself, the stock price tanks, if they decide to buy for some reason the price goes up. Underlying value of the company is only relevant for the investors who choose to base their decisions of what to buy and sell on that.

      The value of your stock is what you can sell it for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:11pm

      Re: The problem with Math, Technology, Economics and Stock Marke

      Robinhood has no technology separating the price from value.

      If Robinhood (or anyone else) was capable of separating price from value than the stock market would already be canceled.

      NO ONE BELIEVES that Gamestop is worth $470 a share

      Several people believe Gamestop is worth $470 a share. However, those same people also know that Gamestop is worth $470 a share only to them. And because they bet a large amount that Gamestop wouldn't be worth much to them, they may go bankrupt becuase they did something stupid and were wrong about it. That is how the market is explicitly intended to function. Failure is a proper market action.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 5:47pm

      Re: The problem with Math, Technology, Economics and Stock Marke

      Excellent commemnt! 3.)


      A good reminder for us all that Economic theory ASSUMES perfect knowledge


      4.) Could have included the point that with legal short-selling, at some point all accounts must be settled. Other wise:
      4.b.) we are NAKED!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:25am

    From the New York post:

    “He was short in a market that no longer allows people to stay short,” complained one hedgie. “Today, you take a position after doing the work then some guys on Reddit use their phones to buy penny stocks and you end up with your face ripped off. It’s nuts.”

    Apparently betting on stocks has changed. Who woulda thunk it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tom Fitzmaurice (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:31am

    Agree

    We are seeing the complete transformation of short selling. It could be that no one will allow it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:39am

    Worried that they will use this as another reason to repeal Section 230.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      They use every reason all bad to try to repeal it already. It would be an obvious pretext even then because there is nothing for them to stop to legally.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 10:43am

    Robinhood isn't the only one restricting purchases of GameStop. TD Ameritrade, Webull, Public.com and Interactive Brokers have also stopped purchases of GameStop and a few other stocks as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 3:10pm

      Re:

      Do you have a source on TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers? Some comments suggest a misunderstanding here, that they're allowing purchases but no shorting, margin, or options (which is fine—those all put the brokerage at risk).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:12am

    Hmm, seen this movie before...

    ...People fed up with the establishment, a populist movement comes along that draws the people in and smashes the establishment, the establishment freaks out and tries to assert control, uses the legacy media to smear the people trying to take on the establishment as nazis, bigots, etc (I WISH I was fucking joking here), uses weak excuses for why they're turning against the populists and banning them from their platforms...

    Oh yeah, this is the same movie that's been playing out since 2015, even Techdirt and the readers of this blog have been on the side of the establishment since 2015. Kind of funny to see you siding with the evil populists now when you hated on them for 5+ years now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:34am

    It's completely ridiculous

    The company claimed -- somewhat ridiculously -- that the ban was for hate speech on the server. But the timing of it made that look like a very weak fig leaf. Considering how many gamers use Discord (its original target market), I can assure you that other servers have a lot more hate speech than the WallStreetBets one did.

    From my limited research, the courts have generally erred on the side that the Bill of Rights doesn't provide an automatic out on contract law. So the argument that Discord should be on solid ground because of unrelated rulings about forced hosting of speech are red herrings. Once a community on Discord reaches a certain size, it becomes bad faith per se to expect mods to catch every little rule violation before the service does. This is why many of us want good faith across the board with S230. You shouldn't be able to nuke a community out of nowhere, using a fig leaf of a justification that would never stand up in court in other cases as an example of you acting under good faith to declare the other party in breach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:36am

      Re: It's completely ridiculous

      If you fear a jury debating the behavior of both sides, using the contract in question and the judge's guidance as a guide to determine if either party was acting in bad faith or in breach of the contract then just come out and admit that you prefer feudalism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 12:09pm

        Re: Re: It's completely ridiculous

        What's with the contract stuff? It's not like they will have breached their "contract", for all practical purposes discord and all of these sites decide the contracts terms unilaterally anyway.. Whether they are protected from breach of contract with section 230 or not would make no difference to anything.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 3:53pm

      Re: It's completely ridiculous

      Lol. Nice attempt. Half point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 5:48am

      Re: It's completely ridiculous

      Discord has every right to get rid of servers under Section 230. That being said, we also have every right to call bullshit on Discord's moderation decisions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glen, 28 Jan 2021 @ 11:55am

    Looks like the users of Robinhood aren't taking to their actions kindly.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/angry-traders-tank-robinhood-trading-apps-gamestop-app-stores-2021- 1

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      ...and Google have deleted all those recent ratings. The score is now artificially high, as the old ratings were based on the idea that it was an app that allowed arbitrary stock purchases—which is now known to be false.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      Google stepped in to protect Robinhood's rating.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:02pm

    And then, Robin of Loxley did bow down before Prince John and say: “Take my mouth while the Sheriff of Nottingham doth rail my arse!”

    And when they were done, Robin returned all of their gold with interest, and the poor all died of starvation.

    The end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:04pm

    And the award for perfect headline goes to...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:04pm

    Wow. The metaphors are getting transparent.

    Henry Hamilton dumps a hundred-plus years into impoverished factory worker Will Salas who goes to New Greenwich and wins over 1000 years.

    So this is the point where law enforcement officer Raymond Leon decides he's the wrong type of person to have so much, and confiscates it all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:07pm

    Once more let me remind you what fascism is. It need not wear a brown shirt or a green shirt-it may even wear a dress shirt. Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power and special privilege. --Tommy Douglas

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 1:50pm

    I'm pretty sure the Discord ban is because it was legitimately full of hate speech and has now brought more attention to itself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 5:37am

      Re:

      [Citation Needed]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2021 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        WSBer here. I can't really prove it, no. But the Discord channel was full of disgusting hate shit. One guy got banned for asking something along the lines of "Doesn't posting Nazi shit constantly break the 'don't be obnoxious' rule?"

        The Discord was basically where WSBers went after they got banned from the sub for being disgusting human beings, and the mods of the Discord chan were complicit. The timing reeks of selective enforcement, for sure, but you couldn't swing a dead cat around the WSB Discord channel without hitting something that broke Discord's hate speech policy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 2:11pm

    Popular cyber warfare tactic:

    1: Flood site with bots.
    2: Bots deploy racism + personal attacks
    3: Call for site moderator
    4: point to toxicity
    5: shut down Site/Thread
    6: repeat until exhaustion

    Corollary:

    1: repeal sec 230
    2: A: Flood site
    B: No commentators
    3: Silence

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 3:24pm

    Long ago, as I listened.

    To a teacher describe, HOW the Stock market worked, I asked Why not get allot of people All to put in some money, Do This/that. Any group can force the stock down if they have a good amount of money, and then Grab everything as you force it up.

    And the SAME with what the corps did on New years, 2000. And they are Holding them High, to make things look good.

    These guys Just did it out in the open. They SAW what was happening and took advantage of that other group.
    The fun part is Trying to sell it off.
    So whats the problem. its been done this way for years and years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    JJ, 28 Jan 2021 @ 5:09pm

    Wait, is this really Techdirt NOT defending the “content moderation” (read: censorship and suppression) by Big Tech firms?!! Hell truly has frozen over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      Lol you clearly never actually read Techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 5:37pm

      read: censorship and suppression

      Yes or no: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jan 2021 @ 6:24pm

      Not defending content moderation

      TechDirt is known for complex, nuanced opinions that are consistent according to specific notions of policy. And its opinions occasionally even evolve with the times (e.g. Tom Wheeler is not a dingo.)

      If state officials were more prone to enlightened self interest, (id est long-term interest) TechDirt would likely be less critical of them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 3:10am

      Re:

      ANd every once in awhile we can change our minds.
      As we dont lease ours from others Opinions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2021 @ 5:48pm

    LOCK EM ALL UP
    Finally the people rise up and cause those who shorted companys to lose billions
    AND THEY THEN TRY AND STOP THEM
    LOCK EM ALL UP
    Don't hate the player YOU MADE THE GAME
    LIVE WITH IT
    WE DID FOR YEARS.
    WOW AND WHERES SLEEPY JOE?????
    HELL HE PUT THOSE IDIOTS IN HIS CABINET
    TRUMP LIT THE FUSE
    BIDENS GONNA BLOW IT ALL TO KINGDOM COME
    REAP WHAT YOU'VE SOWN

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 5:54am

    This tells me...

    The whole Gamestop/stonks story tells me that what happened in the movie Trading Places wouldn't work in real life as telling by this IRL example; The Dukes wouldn't be ruined; they would just prevent future Winthorpes and Valentines (i.e. Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy's respective characters) from ever working in the stock market again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 8:16am

    F their feelings...

    The more hedge funds that go bankrupt the better off everyone will be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 29 Jan 2021 @ 3:14pm

    Anyone figured how this works.

    Making bets, and making money?
    REALLY. Making Imaginary money, that WE get to supply.
    Its already been shown the last time the banks got hit. they were dealing with amounts of money and promises that The World could not be able to pay.
    HOW do you use more money then you have? Make it out of Promises. its a Poker game, and we ALL ran out of money.
    Anyone for an IOU, that when it comes due(at the end of the hand) we call up all our friends and family to PAY IT FOR US. Get your checkbooks and debit cards ready.(AGAIN)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Loki, 30 Jan 2021 @ 7:34pm

    The problem I see isn't just a matter of money.

    If there are 100 bottles of water, and some dude comes along and sells 140 bottles of water (despite the fact there are only 100 bottles and he technically doesn't possess any of those bottles anyways), then you run into a situation where up to 240 people have a potential claim to one of those bottles.

    Ordinarily, the market would allow the short (eBay) seller enough time to either convince enough buyers to except a refund (at a hopefully extreme discount) or purchase enough bottles (again, at the hopefully much lower price) to ship out to satisfy his contracts.

    From the explanation of the WeBull CEO, it sounded like once people started running to the store and buying bottles that it wasn't so much the choice of the "grocery store" to stop selling bottles as it was the warehouse saying "we aren't shipping any more bottles until this shit is sorted out".

    Sure, the "grocery stores" could possibly do "online sales" the way the "eBay seller" did, but that'd probably put them on the hook for potential "refunds" at whatever the current market price ended up being. I see two options for solving this problem:

    1) invalidate the short (eBay) sales. But what if some of those "eBay buyers" have already sold their bottles? Plus, you'd have to do with with the whole market though, and not just GameStop. Given the clear widespread prevalence of this practice it would probably be a financial, logistical and legal nightmare that would make this option near impossible.

    2) Stop people from buying bottles, but allow people to sell bottles (or at least a claim to a bottle) until there are only as many claims to a bottle as there are actual bottles.

    Now granted the dude who distributes the water is probably happy with option 2 as Mr. eBay Dude is one of his biggest customers and it will inevitably force down the price and potentially allow his to pay off his debt without going broke. However, even if he hated Mr. eBay Dude for being the unscrupulous, dishonest prick he is, at some point option 2 becomes the only viable option as you can't give 150 people bottles if only 100 bottles exist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 1 Feb 2021 @ 3:24pm

      Re:

      The strange part in this is getting someone(stupid) to buy the Goods at the Higher rate, while the Price is RIGHT THERE ON the net, and you can see the price going Down.
      Selling the Shares Can cause the price to go up, and you are going to sell Allot of them, to make more money, and TRY to Duck quickly(buy the cheaper shares and get out) before the Shares either crap out at $0, or someone thinks it could be a great Buy to force up with a few sales.
      All that Gamestop had to do was buy back Some of their stocks at a Very cheap price, to force the price back up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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