I have never witnessed or observed anything like what has been happening over the past couple of days in my entire life so far. Judging by what some older people are also saying, likely, something like this has never happened before since the onset of capitalism.
What am I talking about?
Well, GameStop, a retail company in the USA has had its stock price rise by over 200% over the past couple of days. This was purely as a result of a coordinated effort of normal Americans (started off o the r/wallstreetbets subreddit) buying the company's shares to avoid it going under or becoming devalued.
What is GameStop? GameStop is a company that has over 5,000 video game, consumer electronics, and gaming retail stores in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company's headquarters are in Grapevine, Texas, United States. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker GME.
What is r/wallstreetbets? It is a subreddit, a sub-community on Reddit, a website that aggregates news and offers discussion forums. r/wallstreetbets is a place where members (currently over 3 million) discuss stock exchange news and their trades. In this case, one of the Redditors on r/wallstreetbets noticed that some hedge funds had placed HUGE shorth trades against GameStop (A short trade, to put it simply, is a bet that a company's stock price will drop. When it drops, you as the person who made the short trade profits).
What happened next? So, after noticing the hedge funds big short trades on GameStop, the Redditor took to r/wallstreetbets to post a message asking the millions of other Redditors in the subreddit to buy as many GameStop shares as possible to rally the share price upwards, countering the hedge funds huge short trades. It worked as we witnessed for the past 2 days. So much so that the one main hedge fund, Melvin Capital, made huge losses on their short trades, well over $13,1 billion, forcing them to borrow money from another investment company, Citadel, just to keep afloat and not go bankrupt.
But what does that have to do with us? Observing all this had me not only in awe of the coordinated effort of ordinary people to defeat a big hedge fund worth billions of dollars but that the Redditors saved thousands of jobs. This is because if the short trades were successful, the company's shares would be worth very little probably forcing it to lay-off thousands of staff and close some stores. Now, imagine we could do this type of activism across Africa, i.e. hitting organizations hard where it matters most - their money. Also, imagine how we could collectively rally to save jobs especially in this tough environment. I don't know where we could start but I hope the seed of this new kind of digital activism is planted.
Also, equally important, this moment in history will go down as a time when a stock, GameStop, stopped being just a stock, but a MEME that went viral.
It also appears that this won't stop. It feels like people have suddenly realized that if we pull together and focus on one goal, it can be achieved.
Let's hope this game (for a good cause) won't stop.
Today's Top Stories
⚖️ South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has completed its investigation into MTI (Mirror Trading International), the cryptocurrency pyramid scheme (scam) that is undergoing liquidation. "The FSCA understands that the liquidators are of the view that the funds or assets received by certain members of the public pursuant to investing with MTI, may be unlawful. The liquidators intend to recover such funds and assets from these investors – a course of action that the FSCA supports. Affected investors are requested to contact the liquidators in this regard." Link
📝 Here is some background information on MTI's liquidation. Link
🐦 Twitter has announced that it will no longer require researchers to pay for premium developer access to its tweet archives. Instead, it will make the “full history of public conversation” — what the company refers to as its full-archive search endpoint — available to any researcher or developer who applies as part of the launch of a new academic research track. Link
🪧 The last time a social media platform allowed researchers to gain access to its user data we ended up with Cambridge Analytica. Link
💉 MTN Group, Africa's largest mobile services provider, has donated $25 million towards the African Union's COVID-19 vaccination program. The seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be allocated for health workers across Africa. Link
🦄 Calendly, an Atlanta-based cloud scheduling platform founded by Nigeria's Tope Awotona, has announced that it received a $350 million investment. This new investment fundraise values the startup at more than $3 billion. To date, Calendly had only raised $550,000. What's amazing is that it has 10 million monthly users, with $70 million in subscription revenue in 2020. Link
Imagine we could do this type of activism (like how Redditors defeated a hedge fund that short traded $GME stock) across Africa, i.e. hitting organizations hard where it matters most - their money. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)
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