Analysis by cybersecurity company PiiQ Media determined that bots on major social media platforms have been hyping up GameStop and other meme stocks, suggesting foreign actors' participation in the trading frenzy fueled by social news aggregation, Web content rating, and discussion website Reddit.
PiiQ said it examined patterns of keywords like "Hold the Line" and GameStop's stock symbol (GME) across conversations and profiles from before the Jan. 28 trading frenzy through Feb. 18.
Also identified were similar daily start-and-stop patterns in GameStop-related posts, with activity starting at the onset of the trading day, followed by a big spike at the close; PiiQ's Aaron Barr said such patterns are bot signatures.
PiiQ estimated tens of thousands of bot accounts hyped GameStop, meme stocks, and the Dogecoin cryptocurrency; Barr expects to find a similar activity pattern on Reddit.
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