The retail investor is not what is keeping this afloat. Having 90% of the float locked up being controlled by bots is.
Lets say NFLX has 1 million shares. You own 900,000 of them. You can write calls AND puts each week against those 900,000 shares. Then, whichver side pays the biggest $$, you drive the stock that direction. MOST retail guys like you and I are betting NFLX is going to drop. We short the stock, or buy PUTS. The guys holding 90% of this collect those premiums, keep the stock above almost all strikes, and expire them worthless. They keep the premiums for nothing. It's making millions each week, is really not illegal (almost impossible to prove anything illegal), and automated. This can all occur through bot trading with no human interaction.