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What social networks have done to society, they are now doing to markets.
Consider the similarities between last January’s riot in the US Capitol and the capital riots on trading platforms such as Robinhood, which goes public this week. Just as Washington was stormed by Trump supporters who organised themselves into a flash mob online, so the new crop of high-speed trading platforms have enabled retail “bros” to band together in what can only be described as a multiplayer game to pump and dump various “meme” stocks and cryptocurrencies.
The bloodshed of the riots made them a far more serious event. But in both cases, those involved were driven by a sense that they were somehow being manipulated or undermined by a system that was out of their control. By leveraging digital networks to organise, they could strike back in some…