Reddit CEO says activity on WallStreetBets was not driven by bots or foreign agents


Steve Huffman CEO, Reddit, delivers remarks on ‘Redesigning Reddit’ during the third day of Web Summit in Altice Arena on November 08, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman will tell members of Congress on Thursday that no significant activity on the company’s online community WallStreetBets last month was driven by bots or foreign agents, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.

The hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services comes after the WallStreetBets community sparked a trading phenomenon that sent GameStop stock soaring 400% in a week, reaching as high as $483 a share. As trading volume skyrocketed, online trading platform Robinhood was forced to temporarily suspend trading in GameStop and other hot stocks in order to meet its deposit obligations with clearinghouses, locking some traders out of realizing gains and sparking at least one lawsuit.

GameStop closed at $45.94 on Wednesday.

“We have since analyzed the activity in WallStreetBets to determine whether bots, foreign agents, or other bad actors played a significant role. They have not,” Huffman will testify, according to a statement of his planned remarks. “In every metric that we checked, the activity in WallStreetBets was well within normal parameters, and its moderation tools were working as expected.”

Huffman will be testifying alongside Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin, Melvin Capital Management CEO Gabriel Plotkin, and Keith Gill, who goes by DeepF——Value on Reddit and Roaring Kitty on YouTube.

“WallStreetBets may look sophomoric or chaotic from the outside, but the fact that we are here today means they’ve managed to raise important issues about fairness and opportunity in our financial system,” Huffman said. “I’m proud they used Reddit to do so.”

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