WallStreetBets' Reddit chat room briefly made private by moderators

(Reuters) - The ‘Wallstreetbets’ Reddit chat room that drove stock surges for GameStop and other companies was briefly made private by the moderators running the group on Wednesday evening, before being made public again.

“You must be invited to visit this community,” its page, where participants discuss stock trading, showed earlier when access was attempted. It became public once more later in the evening.

The page also said that it was facing technical difficulties due to an “unprecedented” scale of newfound interest in the server.

Separately, Discord Inc, a messaging platform for online gamers, said it had removed the WallStreetBets server from its platform for violating its guidelines on hate speech and spreading misinformation.

“We decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” a Discord spokesman said.

Discord said it had issued multiple warnings to the server admin before banning it.

Online discussions about stocks on social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook are seen by many traders and analysts as fueling massive share price moves that cannot be explained by fundamental news or traditional valuation metrics.

Hedge funds took heavy losses on short positions in GameStop on Wednesday, and regulators and financial professionals called for more scrutiny of trading fueled by anonymous social media posts.

GameStop shares went down 19% in extended trade after markets closed.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Rashmi Aich