Facebook Inc dismantled a popular Wall Street discussion group, Robinhood Stock Traders, in a move its founder described Thursday as a backlash to conversations supporting shares of GameStop Corp and other companies this week.
GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc and BlackBerry have been at the center of a market battle as individual investors coordinating on social media, including Reddit, and using trading apps such as Robinhood, bought stocks and squeezed hedge funds that had bet big on these struggling companies for Char.
Allen Tran, a 23-year-old man from Chicago who started Robinhood Stock Traders, said he woke up on Wednesday to a notification that Facebook had deactivated the 157,000-member group. The notification, seen by Reuters, said without details that the group had violated policies on “the sexual exploitation of adults.”
“We were the first on the pick tree to be cut because we’re on Facebook, not a free platform like Reddit,” Tran said, referring to the generally lighter moderation on the discussion site.
Some of his group have made tens of thousands of dollars in recent transactions first popularized on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, he said.
Tran, who also runs the 20,000-member HaiKhuu Trading group on the Discord chat app, said he had never seen adult content on the Facebook group.
Facebook spokesperson Kristen Morea said: “This group has been removed for violating our community standards unrelated to the current stock market frenzy.” She did not respond to requests for development.
Tran said institutional investors are trying to separate retail traders.
Facebook suspended its group on Jan. 7 after calling it a “dangerous organization,” according to correspondence seen by Reuters, although the company restored its privileges after appealing to its contacts.
“With all of these big institutions frustrated with the success of retail, they’re trying to target every group they can,” said Tran, who featured in a Wall Street Journal article in November and described her Facebook group. as the largest of its kind. .
Tran expressed concern that a replacement group he has formed to continue discussions will also be cut.