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A California recall candidate says the meme stock subreddit r/wallstreetbets banned him without warning this week after a profile on his candidacy compared his popular YouTube channel to the viral retail investment forum.
"They’re trying to draw this parallel like, ‘Oh, Kevin’s young, he talks about stocks; people on Reddit, Wall Street Bets, they’re young, they talk about stocks,’" Kevin Paffrath, the candidate, told FOX Business Wednesday.
The Verge article, titled, "How a Gamestonk YouTuber is shaking up the California recall," highlighted how some of the topics Paffrath covers in his Meet Kevin YouTube channel overlap with the same themes popular on r/wallstreetbets and his gubernatorial campaign.
|AMC||AMC ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS INC||48.52||+1.12||+2.36%|
|CLOV||CLOVER HEALTH INVESTMENTS||9.31||-0.14||-1.48%|
The moderators at r/wallstreetbets aimed to distance themselves from the association with politics, Paffrath said, and cited the article as a reason for his ban – even though he said he never posted on the forum.
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The 29-year-old YouTube millionaire, also known as Meet Kevin on social media, is a self-described JKF-style Democrat who aims to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in next week’s recall election. Beginning as a real estate agent, he has used social media to share educational videos about stocks and finance – and took part in some of the r/wallstreetbets-inspired hype over AMC, the movie theatre company, in which he said he owns 2,100 shares. (He also bought a single share of GameStop during a viral short squeeze earlier this year.)
Paffrath said he’d never used the r/wallstreetbets forum – he shares his content on YouTube and earns a substantial income off of advertising. So the ban caught him by surprise – but he also extended an olive branch and said he’d be open to a relationship with the moderators in the future.
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"Wallstreetbets and I should have a challenge and see who could come up with the better YOLO," he joked. "Just go all in on some short-term call option, and then you either win everything or lose everything. It's like the roulette wheel, right?"
As for retail investors – everyday citizens championed by the ethos of r/wallstreetbets in its feud with finance industry insiders – he said the best way to stick it to the hedge funds is to make money for yourself.