GameStop Corp GME and other so-called meme stocks may have been given the boost on major social media platforms by bots, according to PiiQ Media, a Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company, Reuters reported Sunday.
What Happened: Reuters noted — based on the bot revelation — that Reddit fueled frenzy in such stocks may have been the handiwork of “organized economic or foreign actors.”
PiiQ Media analysis spanned Twitter Inc TWTR, Facebook Inc FB and Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL run social media platforms including Instagram and YouTube.
The analysts at the security company found bots used the platforms to push GameStop and other meme stocks but there is no clarity on how much influence they exerted, as per Reuters.
“We saw clear patterns of artificial behavior across the other four social media platforms,” said Aaron Barr, Chief Technology Officer of PiiQ.
“When you think of organic content, it’s variable in the day, variable day-to-day. It doesn’t have the exact same pattern every day for a month.”
Why It Matters: PiiQ estimates tens of thousands of bot accounts were involved in the frenzy, which also extended to Dogecoin DOGE/USD, according to Reuters.
The firm did not analyze Reddit data but expects to see a similar pattern on the website.
Last month, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told Congress in a hearing that bots, foreign agents, or other bad actors had not meaningfully infiltrated the r/WallStreetBets community that led the frenzy in GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC, Nokia Oyj NOK and others.
A retail trader on that Reddit forum, with the user name “Deep F---ing Value,” told Congress in his published testimony that he liked the stock and that the market was “oblivious to GameStop’s unique opportunity within the gaming industry.”
Price Action: GameStop shares closed nearly 6.4% lower at $101.74 on Friday and fell 2.2% in the after-hours trading to $99.50. DOGE traded 0.36% higher at $0.049 at press time.
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