Robinhood restricts trading of companies targeted by Reddit users

Robinhood on Thursday blocked users from buying or trading stocks popular on a Reddit subforum, including GameStop, AMC and BlackBerry.

Under the new limits, users will be allowed to close out existing trades, but won’t be able to acquire new shares.

“We continuously monitor the markets and make changes where necessary,” the day-trading app wrote in a blog post. “In light of recent volatility, we are restricting transactions for certain securities to position closing only.”

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The decision to restrict trading of the skyrocketing stocks comes amid an effort by users on the r/WallStreetBets forum to work together to drive up the price of stocks that traditional hedge funds have shorted.

More traditional trading platforms like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade earlier restricted trading of the popular shares.

Robinhood's move on Thursday triggered swift backlash.

Shortly after its announcement, tens of thousands left one-star reviews for the app on the Google Play store.

The top post on the r/WallStreetBets subreddit calls the move “market manipulation.” Several other popular submissions call for a class-action lawsuit against Robinhood.