The internet and social media showed their power and resilience Wednesday when comments on Reddit made AMC, BlackBerry, Macy’s, and GameStop stocks go wild. Mostly young day traders, especially on Reddit, fueled investments hitting on millions of dollars, as Wall Street lost billions.
Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about it, seemingly rallying GameStop’s surge. He tweeting out a link to the Reddit board further hyping the stock. “Gamestonk!!” Musk tweeted.
Five days ago, the GameStop stock sat at $39.23, growing to $345 on Friday, January 27, 2021. On January 11, the stock was at $19.94.
Then there are the hedge funds and short-sellers who placed bets that a company's stock will crash and who manage stocks for the millions of people and their portfolios.
It may seem like a story about investors being run by excited social media users, but it’s more to make the point of how social media can cause turbulence and force change.
Some marketers feel disconnected from Reddit, despite the company offering a range of advertising platforms. The power in the platform resides in organic. Organic that goes viral. Users have become increasingly proactive on the platform, as they look for social communities other than Facebook and Twitter.
"We have grown to the kind of size we only dreamed of in the time it takes to get a bad nights sleep," one Reddit member wrote. "We've got so many comments and submissions that we can't possibly even read them all, let alone act on them as moderators. We wrote software to do most of the moderation for us but that software isn't allowed to read the Reddit new feed fast enough and submit responses, and the admins haven't given us special access despite asking for it."
Investors seek analysts to tell them what stocks to buy. These traders create a Reddit account and follow forums like WallStreetBets. Does this mean Reddit requires a moderator, too?
It may not be difficult to figure out why GameStop. Some investors have argued that GameStop, with its finger on the pulse of gamers, as well as Microsoft and Sony’s newest game consoles, were seriously undervalued.
Who uses events across the internet and social media to control real-life events? It’s not that different from when teens on TikTok bought up all the tickets to President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, leaving hundreds of seats empty after a tweet from the Trump campaign urged people to register for the free tickets.
Korean-pop music fans on TikTok shared the information and encouraged followers to get tickets, but not show up for the rally.