Potential answer: Is leveraging notoriety to raise stock prices illegal in the US?
I'm having trouble finding an answer to this and given all the turmoil in the markets recently, I'm having a hard time understanding what constitutes manipulation.
Question: Is it illegal to purchase a billboard and advertise a specific stock ticker?
Example: Someone from r/wallstreetbets claims to have purchased a giant digital billboard in Times Square that says, "$GME GOES BRRR", and shows a parabolic chart indicating the stock is "going to the moon".
Is that type of advertising illegal? I'm on the fence, but I cannot find anything that explicitly states it is.
Another example: a group of investors paid for the Tiger King lady, Carole Baskin, to do a shout out on Cameo. They asked her to shout out a stock ticker, which happened to be a veterinarian ticker, and it saw a price surge the group was able to capitalize on. That seems pretty sketch, in my opinion.
EDIT (from comments below):
Please refer to this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_manipulation. From what I've gathered, intent plays a large role in whether "manipulation" occurs. Long story short, the examples above, certainly the second example, the intent is to inflate prices to result in larger profits when sold.
And in this world of momentum based social trading, at what point does expressing one's opinion (it definitely isn't based on company fundamentals) start to look like a pump and dump, or runs ($CCIV et al), or stock bashing, etc.
Especially given these opinions usually are followed by "not financial advice, I'm retarded." At what point does the "wink" no longer fly? By that I mean, it really seems like manipulation is occurring, but you get a "just kidding" in the form of "this is not financial advice, I'm retarded" after a novella of reasons you should invest in $XYZ, for example.