Cybersecurity firm spots bots hyping up Gamestop stock on social media

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The Gamestop and r/Wallstreetbets saga of January is going to be the subject of case studies at business schools for years to come.

However, the short squeeze on Gamestop’s stock is still drawing attention today and everybody wants to throw their analysis into the ring.

Case in point is PiiQ Media which claims that bots on social media were responsible for hyping up the stock. While that’s a very serious claim, PiiQ Media can’t say how influential these bots were in getting folks to buy GameStop stock.

The firm analysed posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that contained keywords related to the GameStop frenzy earlier this year.

What the firm found was interesting but not what we’d call suspicious.

PiiQ Media says it observed clear “start and stop patterns” in GameStop related posts with these patterns happening at the start of the trading day and spiking at the end of the day.

“We saw clear patterns of artificial behavior across the other four social media platforms. 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,” co-founder and chief technology officer at PiiQ, Aaron Barr said according to Reuters.

Based on its own internal scoring, PiiQ Media believes tens of thousands of bots hyped up GameStop, Dogecoin and other stocks during the short squeeze on social media platforms.

This goes against a statement made by Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman in February as reported by CNBC.

“We have since analyzed the activity in WallStreetBets to determine whether bots, foreign agents, or other bad actors played a significant role. They have not,” Huffman told he U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services.

While it’s true that Huffman only has data related to Reddit, that website was the epicentre of the GameStop frenzy.

This raises the question of whether PiiQ Media was simply observing an organic response to the meme. Sure, the activity surrounding the saga may have been strange but everything about this news event is.

From folks wanting to finally learn more about the stock market to people simply wanting to make a joke, the r/Wallstreetbets and GameStop saga had the world’s attention and from PiiQ’s analysis, it seems it still does.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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