The storm has subsided. After Internet users on the Reddit forum Wallstreetbets in the past few weeks caused an unheard of stock market spectacle around the run-down company Gamestop, in which the share had risen by more than 700 percent in the meantime, the rally is over for now. The stock is even lower than it was before all the excitement.
As an uninvolved observer, one wonders what happened there. On the one hand, there is the realization that the greatest profiteer was probably not the individual users, but another hedge fund that made more than 700 million dollars in profit from the stock market madness. Or the fact that simple retirees who had invested their savings in the very same funds that had to post a large minus now have to worry about their retirement provisions.
The motives of the users are just as diverse as the effects. Some actually wanted to wipe one out of “those up there”, others wanted to make a few profits quickly, and still others just wanted a little chaos. The battle for interpretative sovereignty is now raging on the internet, parallel to the matter itself.
It’s hard to see whether there is still such a thing as the good side
The question also arises as to who actually has the rights to an Internet forum that runs on a large portal like Reddit. Usually there are so-called moderators who ensure that spam is filtered and that users adhere to the guidelines. Depending on the size of the community, this can turn into a full-time job that is of course not paid for. In return, you have the chance to implement your own ideas. In the case of Wallstreetbets, there is apparently an old and a new guard of moderators who do not quite agree on the direction of their forum. While the latter were largely responsible for actually carrying out the action, the former now want their “share”.
Because the reason for the disagreement was once again: money. Hardly a week had passed before it became public that the MGM production company had secured the film rights to a book about the affair that was still to be written. The author is said to be Ben Mezrich, who already wrote the script for the Facebook film “The Social Network” delivered, the working title is accordingly “The Antisocial Network”. Meanwhile, the original founder of the forum has already sold the rights to his biography to another film studio. Allegedly it is about sums in the six-figure range.
As an uninitiated user, it is difficult to see who is lying, which allegations are true or whether there is still such a thing as “the good side”. Rights were withdrawn and alliances formed. Accusations and insults flew through the airwaves, death threats were issued. Instead of forming a new, powerful movement that can act on an equal footing with the big players in capitalism, there is now apparently the threat of fragmentation. It is far from clear who will win the fight. It seems certain, however, that even in new times, many people cling to a very old principle: Everyone is next to himself.