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GameStop isn’t a case of “market failure”—it’s platform democracy in action

A community of people across the world gathered together to share information and organise action. But the subsequent clampdown on these same platforms shows gaping limitations

By Johannes Lenhard  

Photo: Paul Weaver/SIPA USA/PA Images. Composite by Prospect

People who had never shown an interest in the stock markets were suddenly gripped by the movements of some obscure shares last week. The GameStop saga, as it is now known, caused a media circus, drawing in America’s most high-profile politicians, infuriated hedge funders and most crucially: normal people. It is now even going to be made into a Netflix movie.

A simple version of the events goes as follows: retail investors (“ordinary people”) organised on platforms such as Reddit and Facebook to pour money into a number of stocks, most prominently American video game retail chain GameStop but…

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