Discord Takes Over Moderation Of r/WallStreetBets Server As Facebook Shuts Down Popular Stock Trading Group

from the everything-is-content-moderation dept

Apparently every damn story has a content moderation angle these days. The still ongoing GameStonks! story keeps getting more and more fascinating in all sorts of ways. Yesterday, we noted as a side note, that Discord had shut down the r/WallStreetBets server that many of the subreddit users had used to communicate. Discord claimed -- somewhat unbelievably -- that it had done so at this very moment because of a long term "hate speech" problem on that server.

But, then, a day later, Discord said it had re-enabled the server... but that the company itself was helping to moderate the server.

Discord staff are actively working with the server’s team to help with moderation. At least one Discord staffer, who is now in the new WallStreetBets server, is also helping with infrastructure problems related to the rapid growth the community is experiencing.

“WallStreetBets members have set up a new server and we are working with them,” says a Discord spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We will welcome the group back so long as they improve their moderation practices and follow our Community Guidelines. We have reached out to the moderators to provide them with support and advice, like we do for many of our large communities.”

This is kind of fascinating. We've always been interested in moderation setups at places like Reddit and Discord, because they show a different overall structure than the kind of content moderation questions we're used to seeing at Facebook/Twitter/YouTube. In those latter cases, it's one company who just sets the rules. But with Reddit and Discord, while there are company-wide rules, since those services are made up of mostly individual communities, the moderation is effectively left up to those who run those communities (the mods on Reddit or the server owner/admins on Discord).

But, here, Discord is stepping in to help with the moderating. And it's interesting that the company claims that it has done this "for many of our large communities" as well. It appears to be something of a hybrid model, though that raises a bunch of other questions as well. Still, it's interesting to see how these things evolve. And, at least at a first pass, this new setup appears to be working better than the old one:

There are now fewer people screaming in calls, using racial slurs, or blasting music to the hundreds listening in. The memes are now mainly emoji and text, rather than images that often included offensive material.

Meanwhile, the Stonks! trading content moderation questions are spreading. Facebook announced that it has shut down a popular stock trading group... but for a reason you might not have expected:

Allen Tran, a 23-year-old from Chicago who created Robinhood Stock Traders, said he woke up on Wednesday to a notification that Facebook had disabled the 157,000-member group. The notification, seen by Reuters, said without detail that the group violated policies on “adult sexual exploitation.”

Wait... what? Tran notes that he cannot recall any "adult content" ever appearing in the group. It's possible that someone at Facebook clicked the wrong button or something, but it's still bizarre. And, at the very least, will contribute to the various conspiracy theories about big companies ganging up to shutdown retail investors who had suddenly found the loophole to make hedge fund folks sweat a little.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: content moderation, stonks, wallstreetbets, wsb
Companies: discord, reddit


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2021 @ 10:14am

    It's super easy to do

    The first amendment says nothing about liability. All Congress has to do is condition the limitation on liability to include political neutrality. It will be affirmed by the scotus because it's not a restraint on speech or forcing them to publish speech. It is providing liability limitation contingent upon certain corporate behavior which the publisher can opt out of freely without fine or penalty at any time.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.