Founder of WallStreetBets—which sparked meme stock craze—sues Reddit for ousting him


The founder of the gambling-style subreddit which inspired the meme stock craze in 2020 and 2021 that confounded Wall Street’s establishment has filed a lawsuit against Reddit, according to the Wall Street Journal, accusing the platform of wrongfully ripping away a brand he claims to own.

James Rogozinski—who founded the WallStreetBets subreddit in 2012—accused Reddit of breach of contract and trademark infringement in the suit, according to the Journal.

Reddit removed Rogozinski as a WallStreetBets moderator in April 2020, reportedly accusing him of “attempting to monetize a community” after he posted an Amazon listing for his book on millennial investing practices and announced a sponsored trading competition on the subreddit.

Rogozinski’s suit denies that he broke any rules—claiming he did not receive compensation for running the subreddit, the Journal reported.


Rogozinski’s Reddit profile—Jartek—was later permanently banned from WallStreetBets by its remaining moderators.

Rogozinski reportedly filed an application for a “WALLSTREETBETS” trademark in March of 2020, shortly before he lost his moderator role.

Reddit in a statement called Rogozinski’s lawsuit “frivolous,” decrying it as “another transparent attempt to enrich himself.”

Crucial Quote

“I felt this was personal, and I felt betrayed,” Rogozinski told the Journal in an interview.

Key Background

Rogozinski’s departure came months before WallStreetBets was the focal point of some of the most ludicrous stock movements in history.

Millions of retail investors on the subreddit rushed to buy companies like GameStop starting in late 2020—apparently driven only by a mix of nostalgic feelings for the brand and a disdain for hedge fund managers who shorted the stock—sending share prices soaring almost 2,000% on daily volume often in the hundreds of millions.

The craze rocked Wall Street and overwhelmed commission-free retail trading platforms like Robinhood, whose decision to severely limit GameStop trading prompted a Congressional hearing. WallStreetBets’ influence has severely waned since markets started trending downward in 2021, as the quick, high-risk trades that earlier rewarded some users with small fortunes overwhelmingly turned to losing transactions.

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