The stock market, a mysterious god that rules our lives, has moved the world in strange ways lately. First, there was the ascension of video game retailer GameStop. Then, as a result, the market began to manipulate the fates of AMC theaters, Dogecoin, Frankie Muniz, and Jon Stewart. Now, as the result of online confusion, it’s reviving interest in Robin Hood, outlaw hero of English folklore.
Rolling Stone spoke to Nottingham’s Bob White, the 77-year old chairman of the World Wide Robin Hood Society, about how an influx of people trying to find information about the stock-trading and investment app Robinhood have found their way to the Society’s @robinhood Twitter account instead. Last Friday, the article says, White was just trying to enjoy a relaxing evening when his phone was flooded with Twitter notifications from users mad about the GameStop stock-purchasing ban that Robinhood (not the World Wide Robin Hood Society, of course) had implemented.
White, who runs the Society “alongside ‘eight or 10' staff,” suddenly had to shift focus from maintaining an internet resource about Robin Hood to managing the wave of new followers and messages. He says the initial messages “were angry or confused” but that people were “really, really nice” after the Society responded to clear up that they represented Robin Hood, noble thief of Sherwood Forest, and not Robinhood, Wall Street lackey.
The Society’s Twitter account now has more than 61,000 followers. White says that, even after the Society’s done its best to clarify that the account isn’t stock related and ensure people weren’t “sending wasted tweets” its way, its followers keep increasing, and “a lot of people have come back and said, ‘Oh, we went on this, but we didn’t know about this society.” They may have stayed followers not just out of interest in Robin Hood, but because the account’s run by the kind of enthusiasts who sign their tweets with little bow and arrow emojis and respond to questions about “stock tips” like so:
In all, White says he’s happy that the mix-up has helped “people realize that we exist” and that it “[establishes] for us the fact that Robin Hood is still something that people still have an interest in, albeit maybe from their childhood.” He should be proud! Because of a misunderstanding, the group he runs has probably done more to keep the Robin Hood story alive than any of the many, many, often ill-advised, TV and film projects starring the character.
Read the rest of the Rolling Stone article for more.
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