On its side, Reddit is a huge collection of forums overseen by a private company. It inhabits a gray zone among small, intimate communities with shared expectations and norms and large platforms that tend to erase such things. Its business is to allow people to gather for free, create communities and content, then assign value to that content so that it can be organized and shown to millions of others, including some people watching the ad.
Maybe Reddit is where you find interesting links and watch funny videos. Maybe it’s where you hang out with a small group of friends or post to a community of millions. Most likely, it’s a place you’ve heard of and probably visited before, where you know people have a lot of things, most of which are unrelated to you, until they do. Like other social platforms, Reddit has struggled with harassment, hate speech and abuse, and is sometimes banned from influential communities in connection with them.
For those studying social platforms like Reddit, WallStreetBets – a clear example of a popular Reddit community breaking out of the larger site, and then beyond – is mentioned a specific precedent. Recent: The_Donald, subreddit, for a few years, the central stage and stage hosting for Donald J. Trump’s supporters.
To be clear, these precedents are not necessarily about broad ideology or style. Some commentators have suggested that the activity represented by WallStreetBets and Trumpism is part of the same populist, anti-elite phenomenon, but if Trumpism Generally speaking purely instructive here, it’s like a reminder that the self-describing anti-elite movements, in fact, turn out to be much more complex than that.
WallStreetBets can look like a wall of slang, memes, jargon and inner jokes, mostly male, and so is it. But it’s also a financial forum, and a subscriber sharing forum with other financial forums is simpler. (All of the top 20 sub credits that WallStreetBets shares subscriber to are related to stocks, finance, betting or cryptocurrencies. The first thing that doesn’t lie between PersonalFinanceCanada and Poker, is a community called FrugalMaleFashion. .) It has a long and complex set of rules apart from those enforced by Reddit itself, some broad rules (no market manipulation) and some narrow and exclusionary rules (pictured) screenshots of your “positions” should show “equity or loss more than $ 2,500 or $ 10,000 for the respective options or shares”).
Its unwritten rules have more but are also rigidly enforced. You are with them or against them; There are other subreddits for those in doubt. Show your skepticism and you will be considered a hedge fund factory. To expect serious debate or discussion is to miss the point: This is not a social community, or a discussion space, but a group activity that serves a particular goal. In recent weeks, the only way to catch up with WallStreetBets is through full immersion, getting comments on “trends” and “diamond hands” and “holding the wire” until you try. Favorite group post for yourself: “We like stocks.”