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Why the GameStop affair is a perfect example of ‘platform populism’ | Evgeny Morozov

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February 03, 2021 at 09:00AM

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Like Uber, Airbnb or WeWork, the Robinhood brokerage app offers only an illusion of democracy

The GameStop saga, for all the havoc it has caused to the global markets, is not just a tale of idealistic individual investors humiliating a bunch of arrogant hedge funds – even if the tides turned on Tuesday, with a plunge in GameStop’s shares. For one, it feels like an unannounced sequel to the 6 January riots on Capitol Hill: both have featured a horde of angry, foul-mouthed social media addicts laying siege to the most sacred institutions of the deeply despised establishment.

However, while the Washington rioters were universally condemned, those leading the virtual crusade on Wall Street have fared much better. Having defended the stocks of musty, struggling companies against greedy hedge funds, they have garnered some sympathy across the political aisle.

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