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Reddit stopped rogue r/WallStreetBets mods from taking over the community

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Reddit says the rogue mods violated moderator policies

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets has grown significantly due to the community’s role in driving up the stock prices of companies like GameStop, AMC, and Nokia, and the whole saga has garnered so much attention that there are currently many movies and a TV show in the works. But that increased attention has also put strain on the r/WallStreetBets community itself, forcing Reddit to step in to help sort things out.

The trouble started Wednesday night, according to The New York Times, as some r/WallStreetBets moderators talked with each other about trying to get a movie deal. On Thursday morning, “the WallStreetBets moderators who were considering the film deal began booting out other moderators who had questioned them for secretly trying to profit from the forum’s success,” reports The New York Times. A highly upvoted r/WallStreetBets post called the situation “a coup,” saying the moderators the community “know and love” were being tossed out.

At some point, Reddit stepped in to stop the takeover, and the company confirmed to The Verge that it had removed some r/WallStreetBets mods. The company says they violated rule five of its moderator guidelines, which reads:

Stable and Active Teams of Moderators:

Healthy communities have moderators who are around to answer questions of their community and engage with the admins.

The company wouldn’t share how many mods were removed. As of this writing, there are 28 mods listed on the r/WallStreetBets mods page, and “in recent weeks there have been a few dozen,” according to The New York Times.

Reddit said it had to take action due to the instability the situation created for the community, according to a message sent to the r/WallStreetBets mods by Reddit that was obtained by Mashable. “We understand many will be upset with our decisions today, however it was clear to us an intervention was necessary for the continued health of the r/wallstreetbets community,” part of the message read.

The mods removed by Reddit can’t be immediately reinstated as moderators of r/WallStreetBets, the company tells The Verge. The mods removed by the bad actors can be reinstated as mods on r/WallStreetBets, but at the discretion of the current mod team. It’s unclear which of the removed mods may return, or which have been invited to do so.

Last week, Discord also had to step in to help moderate a WallStreetBets community. The company banned the original r/WallStreetBets server due to “hateful and discriminatory content” and has been helping the mods of the new one with moderation.