Thursday, 19 September 2013

Why am I being accused of manipulation when I am just posting news?

Whenever you post on the boards, it is important to recognise that any reference to an existing moviestock is going to affect that moviestock's price - not just because the news changes the moviestock's fundamentals, but because traders expect other traders to buy (or short) the stock, and so trade based on this expectation.

Obviously, this creates an incentive for traders to post as much news as they can, creating more price swings that they can profit from. This dynamic is well understood by experienced traders, who can be quick to call out posts that they perceive as manipulative and designed to spur price movement - especially posts made by other experienced traders who presumably understand this too.

While calling out posts seen as manipulative can head off unnecessary price swings and improve the quality of information posted on the boards, it also has the unwanted side-effect of discouraging new players from posting news.

So, how can you post news without being labeled a manipulator?  Here are some guidelines to help:
  • Don't post old news - once news is a day old, it's no longer news.  When you are posting news, check the time-stamp for the original source of the story.  If it the story is older than 24 hours, you should ask yourself if you have a solid reason for posting it. 
  • Avoid repeating the same information - before you post, it is always worth checking the news stories tagged on relevant moviestock or starbond page and doing a quick scan of the first page or two of the Movies board to see if the information has already been posted.  If it has, it's not news. If it's mostly the same news with a little extra information, it may not be news either.
  • Click through to the source - you should always click through to the original source of the story, as it will generally have the most complete information.  Other sites covering the story can't do much more than quote the original source and then speculate about what it means, which clouds the information. The news is the information, not the speculation.
  • Consider the source - if the original source is an established news site, it's a lot more credible than a website you've never heard of that may be posting rumours as fact to get more pageviews. Of course, some established news sites also sometimes post rumors as news, but you can't help that.
  • Look at the context, like who is being quoted and where the project is at - who the article is getting its information from counts for a lot.  Someone who is making decisions about a movie is a better source of information about what is happening than, say, a supporting actor or even a screenwriter.  Similarly, a producer, director or lead actor on a movie heading into production is always going provide better information than a producer who is desperately trying to get a movie made, or an out-of-work actor from a long-dead franchise trying to build momentum for another sequel.
  • Ask yourself if the news is giving an actual update - update can imply that something is happening, like a movie is moving forward and making progress.  But frequently, the "update" is that nothing is happening. If so, then it's probably better not to post it just because it's not very interesting - especially when the update is for a long-in-development project. But if you decide a non-update "update" is interesting enough to post, don't post it suggesting it is an update on progress. Instead, make it clear that "the news is there is still no news", and do not tag the "update" because there is no new information. 
  • Be aware of posting close to reset - posts about a moviestock made around reset can influence the moviestocks that move at reset, which means that those posts are more heavily scrutinised.  There's no rule against posting at reset - news happens when it happens, and reset time happens to be when many traders playing from outside North America are on the boards. But non-news that is posted around reset is often presumed to be manipulative.

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