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Amateur investors are responding with outrage after trading platforms restricted buying of shares in GameStop and other companies.

The moves by Robinhood and Interactive Brokers follow days of frenzied trading that led to massive gains for some stocks.

Shares in GameStop dived by as much as 60% after the restrictions.

It is the latest twist in a battle that has pitted amateur investors against Wall Street giants.

Major hedge funds had bet billions of dollars that GameStop’s shares would fall.

They have faced major losses after amateurs, swapping tips on social media sites such as Reddit, drove up the share price by more than 700% in a week.

Other firms, such as AMC Entertainment, Koss Corp and BlackBerry, also saw sharp gains. They were embraced by day traders after hedge funds bet against them.

The activity has drawn questions from regulators, who are monitoring trading amid fears of illegal actions.

But the amateur investors say they are just playing Wall Street at its own game.

In online forums they discussed legal action and accused Robinhood and other brokerages enacting their own form of market manipulation by restricting purchases of certain shares.

Why have GameStop shares surged?

Key to what’s going on is “short selling” or “shorting”, where a big investment company such as a hedge fund tries to make money by betting that a company’s share price will fall.

The hedge fund borrows shares in a company from other investors (for a fee) and sells the shares on the markets at, for example, $10 each, waits until they fall to $5, and buys them back. The borrowed shares are returned to the original owner, and the hedge fund pockets a profit.

GameStop – which saw heavy losses last year and was described as “failing” by one big investor – is the most shorted stock on Wall Street. Some 30% of its shares are thought to be in the hands of hedge fund borrowers.

However, in the last week, amateur investors who follow the Wall Street Bets forum on Reddit have poured money into buying the company’s stock with the aim of pushing up the price.

If the price rises dramatically, short sellers face big losses and they need to buy back the shares they have borrowed quickly to prevent bigger losses – a process known as covering.

However, buying back the shares only adds to demand for the stock and pushes its price higher still.

Amateurs aren’t the only ones getting in on the action.

This week, for example, private equity firm Silver Lake Group, which had loaned money to AMC Entertainment, converted its bonds to shares after the surge in the firm’s prices, a swap worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the US, anger over the trading restrictions united politicians whose stances typically sharply diverge.

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who is taking over as chair of the banking committee, said he would hold a hearing about the “state of the stock market”.

He said: “People on Wall Street only care about the rules when they’re the ones getting hurt.”

What is GameStop?

GameStop is an American high street shop that sells games, consoles and other electronics.

With fewer people out shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic and most games being sold online, things weren’t looking great for GameStop.

People who buy and sell stocks often bet on which companies won’t do well in the future.

They borrow shares in the company and sell them, with a promise to buy them back at a later date.

If you’re sure the company will lose value, you’d make a profit when you buy them back and the price has fallen.

This is a massively simplified explanation of something called shorting, or short selling – words you might’ve seen cropping up in your feeds in the last few days.

GameStop was one of the companies that loads of hedge funds (companies who do these bets) had bet on to lose a lot of value.

More than four million people are on Reddit, usually discussing stocks and shares and where they’re going to invest money.

But huge numbers of people in the wallstreetbets Reddit forum swapped tips and bought shares in GameStop.

The demand raised its share price massively, which nobody saw coming, and everyone who had banked on it dropping in value had to buy their shares back.



Serena Williams has announced that she is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

The tennis champ made the announcement, of course, on Reddit, in the form of a poem.

Serena Williams, 35, said Alexis Ohanian took her to Rome, where they first met, to propose to her – and she said “Yes”.

It caps off a year in which Serena Williams won her seventh Wimbledon singles title and 22nd Grand Slam singles title, but dropped to world number two ranking.

Photo AP

Reddit is a social media platform where users group around topics, news articles and discussion points, rather than around people they know in offline life.

Alexis Ohanian, 33, founded Reddit in 2005 alongside a college friend, Steve Huffman.

Serena Williams posted to r/isaidyes, a forum where users share their stories of wedding proposals, saying he had taken her to the table in Rome where they first met, where he got down on one knee and “said four words”.

One Reddit user responded by joking that the score was love-love.

Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams had kept their relationship quiet on social media and in the world of celebrity gossip, but rumors began to circulate last year that they might be romantically linked.


Bobbi Kristina Brown has reportedly been evicted from her Atlanta home.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, 20, and her on-off boyfriend and “brother” Nick Gordon were said to be the subject of at least ten different noise complaints, leading up to her moving out.

A friend of a neighbor also revealed on Reddit that Bobbi Kristina Brown left an angry note for her neighbors following the supposed eviction.

The friend revealed: “My friend and his family live in the apartment under Bobbi Kristina Brown.”

“After 6 months of complaints, she was finally kicked out. He found this on his door today.”

However, on Wednesday, Bobbi Kristina Brown took to her Twitter account to deny that she had been forced out of her home.

“Awoke2CrazyNeighborStory(:” she wrote, adding: “Ichoose2move(: THEY were the nightmare.”

However, neighbor Joshua Morse seems to disagree, and spoke to 11alive about the note, which included foul language.

Bobbi Kristina Brown reportedly wrote: “Thank You for making a hard year harder. You are a miserable couple and always will be.”

Bobbi Kristina Brown has reportedly been evicted from her Atlanta home

Bobbi Kristina Brown has reportedly been evicted from her Atlanta home

It went on: “You were honored to have us living above you and you couldn’t stand such a young beautiful couple far more successful than you ever will be.”

“I pray your misery doesn’t rub off on your innocent little baby.”

Joshua Morse said he and his wife have filed at least ten different complaints about the noise coming from Bobbi Kristina Brown’s apartment.

He also revealed that Bobbi Kristina Brown has now turned in her keys and left the complex.

Bobbi Kristina Brown leaves angry note for neighbors as it's claimed she was evicted from Atlanta home

Bobbi Kristina Brown leaves angry note for neighbors as it’s claimed she was evicted from Atlanta home

Whitney Houston’s daughter lived in the apartment with Nick Gordon, who she reportedly split with romantically in November last year, after he tweeted: “@REALbkBrown and I are not engaged or dating. Just close like we have always been.”

Bobbi Kristina Brown attempted to defend her romantic relationship with Nick Gordon to her extended family on Lifetime’s The Houstons: On Our Own last year.

“We’re engaged,” she said on the episode as she showed of a ring that was once her mother’s.

“Everyone gets it wrong, I was never officially… it’s not incest.”

Nick Gordon was informally adopted by Whitney Houston when he was 12 years old.

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Reddit has issued a public apology for its coverage of the Boston bombings.

Reddit’s Find Boston Bombers thread – known as a subreddit – named specific people standing near the scene as suspects.

The social news site included innocent people such as 17-year-old Salah Barhoun and missing 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi.

Reddit has admitted that it helped to fuel “online witch hunts”. The debacle has fuelled debate about how far such speculation should go in future.

“We all need to look at what happened and make sure that in the future we do everything we can to help and not hinder crisis situations,” the apology read.

“Though started with noble intentions, some of the activity on Reddit fuelled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties.”

It went on to apologize to the family of Sunil Tripathi.

Reddit has issued a public apology for its coverage of the Boston bombings

Reddit has issued a public apology for its coverage of the Boston bombings

The family had to suspend the Facebook page they had created to find him because of the amount of negative comments they received. Sunil Tripathi’s name trended on Twitter and numerous news sites.

“We were very worried about Sunil and about each other because of how fast completely unsubstantiated claims were spreading,” said Sunil’s sister Sangeeta Tripathi.

“Our entire neighborhood and our house were surrounded by media trucks. On my personal cellphone I got 72 phone calls between 3 a.m. and 4.30 in the morning.

“We just really hope that something like what happened to our family – and it’s happened to a few other people in the same media frenzy
around Boston – doesn’t keep happening and that we are conscious of how powerful some of our platforms are.”

The tragedy in Boston created a huge amount of traffic on Reddit, peaking at about 272,000 users according to Google Analytics.

As well as attempting to solve the mystery of who the suspects were, Redditors – as contributors to the site are known – also organized housing for people stranded in Boston, sent pizza deliveries to police and hospitals, and organized “dog therapy” in local parks for traumatized residents.

The apology concludes: “After this week, which showed the best and worst of Reddit’s potential, we hope that Boston will also be where Reddit learns to be sensitive of its own power.”

Aaron Swartz, a celebrated internet freedom activist and early developer of the website Reddit, has died at the age of 26.

The activist and programmer took his life in his New York apartment, a relative and the state medical examiner said. His body was found on Friday.

Aaron Swartz began computer programming as a child, and at 14 co-authored an early version of the RSS specification.

He later became an advocate of internet freedom, and was facing hacking charges at the time of his death.

Aaron Swartz was among the founders of the Demand Progress campaign group, which lobbies against internet censorship.

Activist and programmer Aaron Swartz took his life in his New York apartment

Activist and programmer Aaron Swartz took his life in his New York apartment

The hacking charges relate to the downloading of millions of academic papers from online archive JSTOR, which prosecutors say he intended to distribute for free.

He denied charges of computer fraud at an initial hearing last year, but his federal trial was due to begin next month.

Aaron Swartz’s lawyer Elliot R. Peters confirmed the news of his client’s death in an email to the MIT university newspaper The Tech.

“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” he wrote.

A spokeswoman for New York’s medical examiner later confirmed to Associated Press news agency that Aaron Swartz had hanged himself.


A discussion on online community site Reddit has revealed a series of gripes, handy tips and confessions about things to look out for by hotel workers.

It followed a question posted by user Smadisond on Tuesday. The site user asked: “Hotel staff of Reddit, what is something that hotels keep from their guests?”

1. Whisky is yellow… but so is urine

Among the tales was a hotel worker in Sweden telling how she stumbled upon a guest’s sneaky attempt to dodge a minibar bill – by refilling an empty whisky bottle with urine.

Current and former hotel staffers from around the world contributed to the discussion on Reddit.

2. Suspect stains… gone with a quick wipe

One employee told how in training she was directed to simply “wipe” a suspicious white stain off the duvet with a “damp cloth, until you can’t see it anymore”.

The traumatized hotel trainee’s advice was steer clear of anything but the sheets.

3. Dirty hotel room glasses? Rinse in bathroom sink and dry with pillow case

One former housekeeper admitted to simply rinsing glasses in the bathroom sink then drying them with a clean pillow case – and that was only if they looked dirty.

A discussion on online community site Reddit has revealed a series of gripes, handy tips and confessions about things to look out for by hotel workers

A discussion on online community site Reddit has revealed a series of gripes, handy tips and confessions about things to look out for by hotel workers

4. Hair, hair, everywhere

A hotel maid said her major gripe is when guests leave behind an almost unimaginable amount of hair. Especially when it “just keep coming”.

5. You try completely cleaning a room in just 15 minutes

Also on the subject of cleaning, one user said the hotel where they worked allotted only 15 minutes per room so if things didn’t look as if they’d been cleaned it’s likely that they weren’t.

6. One room, one simple rule

An employee at a top hotel told Reddit that people wanting just one room should avoid online travel sites.

He said third parties often charge more than the hotel’s actual rate so people should book directly because if there are vacancies, they’re willing to bargain.

“If you are just reserving a room, you’re getting the short stick,” he said.

7. Need to cancel without paying a fee? Think ahead

Another useful tip was on how to avoid paying a cancellation fee when you have to ditch a reservation at the last minute.

A receptionist said a clever solution is to call the hotel and push your reservation forward a few weeks. Then, call back later that day and cancel.

8. The night-time credit card con

One thing to look out for is a scam used by hackers who pose as front-desk workers calling late at night to persuade half-awake guests that they suddenly need a credit card.

According to hotel workers, the front desk won’t ever call late at night.

9. Make friends with the all-powerful bellman

When it comes to getting perks at a hotel, one bellman at a Hilton in Arizona has also revealed all.

He said advised people to ask for everything from free water bottles to cigarettes, shuttle rides to pizza because bellmen might have the power to grant it.

10. Ritz-Carlton goes the extra mile

According to another former high-end employee, at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, the chain has a $1,500 “special employee allowance” to be used at their discretion for improving a guest’s stay.

The employee witnessed the purchase of a new Rolex for a guest whose own watch had gone missing days before.