Discord has banned the r/WallStreetBets server, the company confirmed to The Verge — but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of thousands of its members from forming at least two new servers where they’ve continued to pump stocks like GameStop, AMC and more to unprecedented highs, with GameStop in particular briefly hitting $483 a share on Thursday morning. (It traded around $4 early this year.) The saga is already set to be one of 2021’s biggest stories of the year, as the world marvels at how individual investors are banding together to take advantage of Wall Street hedge funds, and wondering when the bubble might pop.
These Discord servers are offshoots of the r/WallStreetBets subreddit, where all of this seemingly began. Like the Discord, it also went dark and also returned on Wednesday evening — though in that case, it was the sub’s own moderators who set the sub to private.
Discord says it did not ban the WallStreetBets server for financial fraud — rather, it was banned because it continued to allow “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.” The Verge gained access to the server and can confirm the claim that users of the channel were spamming hateful language, including racial slurs.
Here is Discord’s full statement:
The server has been on our Trust & Safety team’s radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation. Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin.
Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.
To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors. We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.
r/WallStreetBets describes itself as “like 4chan found a Bloomberg Terminal,” and many comments on the subreddit contain offensive language.
Shortly after Discord banned the server, the moderators made the entire r/WallStreetBets subreddit private as well, taking it dark for nearly an hour. When it returned, the moderators of the subreddit had a message about the Discord ban which you can read below:
We’re suffering from success and our Discord was the first casualty. You know as well as I do that if you gather 250k people in one spot someone is going to say something that makes you look bad. That room was golden and the people that run it are awesome. 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. Discord did us dirty and I am not impressed with them destroying our community instead of stepping in with the wrench we may have needed to fix things, especially after we got over 1,000 server boosts. That is pretty unethical.
The bold text was present in the original post.
During the time the Discord server was live, it was chaotic, with messages coming in at a rapid rate and many voices talking over each other simultaneously. Check out this video from my colleague Tom Warren to get an idea of what was like (note: you may want to turn down your volume before clicking play, as the voices are quite loud):
the main Discord call for wallstreetbets is true online chaos pic.twitter.com/cq8QOyHj6m— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) January 27, 2021
Although the original r/WallStreetBets Discord server was banned, the subreddit now links to what appears to be a new official server.
Update January 27th, 9:05PM ET: Added that a r/WallStreetBets links to a new Discord.
Update, January 28th, 12:54PM ET: Updated to reflect that there are at least two new Discords that have replaced the original banned server.