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r/WallStreetBets went private — and now it’s back with a message

r/WallStreetBets went private — and now it’s back with a message


It went dark for nearly an hour

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The r/WallStreetBets subreddit’s own moderators made it private for a little less than an hour on Wednesday evening, Reddit confirmed to The Verge — but now, it’s back, with a new post from the moderators themselves that doesn’t quite explain why it vanished in the first place. The subreddit has seen a significant increase in attention in recent days following the meteoric rise in GameStop’s stock driven in part by traders on the forum.

“We have grown to the kind of size we only dreamed of in the time it takes to get a bad nights sleep,” reads a new post from the mods, one which you can read in its entirety at the bottom of this post in case it disappears. “We’ve got so many comments and submissions that we can’t possibly even read them all, let alone act on them as moderators,” the post continues, addressing how the community has also been banned from Discord and how they believe Reddit’s tools are insufficient to moderate bad behavior.

The post also points to a Twitter account, @wsbmod, which is intended to be the official voice of the moderator team in the future.

During the time the subreddit was private, there were a few different messages shown to visitors. When I checked the subreddit at 7:06PM ET, I saw this message:

We are experiencing technical difficulties based on unprecedented scale as a result of the newfound interest in WSB. We are unable to ensure Reddit’s content policy and the WSB rules are enforceable without a technology platform that can support automation of this enforcement. WSB will be back.

Before that, the page showed this message: “WallStreetBets is under in tents load and is only for approved submitters. In the meantime, please enjoy some spaghetti,” followed by a link to a NSFW video of a man putting spaghetti all over his body.

And when the r/WallStreetBets was first made private, the message read, “like 4Chan found a Bloomberg Terminal,” which was the description of the subreddit previous to it being made private.

Mysteriously, some people claimed they lost their existing access to r/WallStreetBets when it went private:

Earlier on Wednesday, Discord banned the r/WallStreetBets server. The company said that the Discord was banned for “continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.” Many posts on the subreddit contain offensive language.

Here is the full post from the r/WallStreetBets moderators:

We have grown to the kind of size we only dreamed of in the time it takes to get a bad nights sleep. 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.

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.

To add to this, people are co-opting our name on twitter. I won’t mention their accounts, but lots of handles with “wsb” and “wallstreetbets” in them are pretending to speak for us. They’re saying things that we don’t agree with, driving traffic to derivative communities and shitty pixelated merch stores, and generally making it harder for us to define who we are. There’s also too much political bullshit in a community that was never ever political. The only way I want to occupy Wall St is in a suit myself or rent-free in the mind of a blown up short.

That is why I’m throwing my support behind the Twitter handle in general. We need a way to PUBLICLY reach out to the staff of the infrastructure that is failing us so the world can see that we aren’t doing anything wrong here if they don’t respond. We need to be able to respond directly to a reporter that is lying to the world about our clubhouse. We can’t be expected to meet any expectations when we aren’t given the tools we need.

That’s not to say I approve of every message or will even be in the loop for all of them, but it’s clear to me we can’t do nothing and we need a megaphone. aka @wsbmod is the only Twitter handle whose statements are directly from some part of the team.

We’ll do our best not to pretend to speak for you, but to try to speak with the volume our name now seems to command to get shit done for us.

Update January 27th, 8:01PM ET: r/WallStreetBets has reopened, with a message from a moderator, which we have added.