What started as a movement on Reddit is now rewriting the history of finance in the United States. It started when Wall Street hedge funds decided to “short” GameStop, essentially betting on the company to fail, so that when it did, they would make a massive profit. However, users of the social media platform, Reddit, collectively purchased shares of GameStop thus driving up the price over 14,300%, at one point. 

When Wall Street hedge funds caught wind of this scheme, they immediately tried to shut it down by calling it a “glorified Ponzi scheme”. In reality, Wall Street investors were just flustered because they got played by a group of Reddit users who made boatloads of money without paying a commission or even going through a conventional brokerage.  

In less than five days, Reddit users had displaced the U.S. stock market by .25% by using the threads wallstreetbets on Reddit and Discord. And in the worst form of censorship, the Discord thread wallstreetbets was shut down. Even further, trading and investment apps have blocked or significantly restricted the purchasing of shares in stocks like GameStop and AMC Theaters. Since when do we live in a country where we aren’t allowed to spend OUR money as we choose? Not only are tech giants trying to censor our individual voices, but now we’re also being told where we can and can’t spend our money. In a free market, in a free country, individuals must be allowed to spend their money as they choose. 

The events of this past week have shown that large hedge funds can do as they please in the most manipulative way. No laws were broken, yet Wall Street was able to shut down communication between investors and ban them from investing in certain stocks. The entire U.S. stock market is a gamble- so why not play fair and give everyone an equal chance to make money? Let this be a lesson- if you don’t make your money exactly the way Wall Street wants, you will be suppressed. What started with political censorship has seeped into finance. Where will we be silenced next?

Shreetika S