(Reuters) – The Reddit ‘Wallstreetbets’ chat room that led to stock spikes for GameStop and other companies was briefly made private by the moderators who ran the group on Wednesday night, before being made public again.

“You must be invited to visit this community,” its page, where attendees discuss stock trading, said earlier when trying to access. It went public again later that evening.

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

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

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

Discord said it sent several warnings to the server administrator before banning it.

Online discussions of stocks on social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook are seen by many traders and analysts as fueling massive movements in stock prices that cannot be explained by fundamental information or metrics. traditional assessment.

Hedge funds suffered heavy losses in short positions on GameStop on Wednesday, and regulators and financial professionals called for a closer look at exchanges fueled by anonymous social media posts.

GameStop shares fell 19% on extended trading after markets closed.

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