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Twitter Suspends Account of Trump Ally Patrick Byrne

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patrick bryne
patrick bryne

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Big tech companies seem to be on a significant banning spree recently, cleansing their platforms of users who they believe could pose a danger to the public good through their posts.

The purge has hit people from all walks of life, with both the famous and the ordinary getting axed from platforms based on their content.

The Big Tech Purge Continue

Patrick Byrne’s account on Twitter has now been suspended. Viewing his account brings up the following message:

“Account suspended, Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”

Byrne was the former chief executive of ecommerce company Overstock. His account was reportedly taken down on Tuesday – the resultant effect of his staunch support of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Like most Trump supporters, Byrne had peddled falsehood through his Twitter account claiming  the November election was “rigged.” 

The businessman had spent the past few weeks sharing conspiracy theories about the elections. He had pledged his support for the outgoing Commander-in-Chief. 

Twitter had largely allowed many of Trump’s supporters to pledge their support for the embattled politician, but things took a slightly severe turn following last week’s demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol.

On the day that Congress was to meet and officially certify Biden’s election, hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building to disrupt proceedings. 

The fallout from the event led to a massive social media purge that continues to this day. Twitter – along with other tech companies like Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, and more – already took down Trump’s personal account.

So far, Twitter has been the poster child for the current purge. Along with the Trump ban, the social media company has taken down the accounts of several accounts linked with QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy group that promoted the President and his “fight against the Deep State.”

Has Big tech Gone Too Far?

Yesterday, Twitter confirmed that it had taken down 70,000 QAnon accounts since Friday.

The Silicon Valley giant alleged that the accounts had been sharing harmful, QAnon-related content at scale and were committed to spreading their conspiracy theories across its platform.

Byrne appeared to have been involved with some QAnon-style content as well.

His exit from Overstock in 2019 came after he shared a controversial statement concerning the “Deep State,” the Clinton family, and an alleged affair with convicted Russian agent Maria Butina.

As for the current social media purge, opinions vary over how big tech companies have handled the matter. While many have lauded the companies’ action as a necessary step against misinformation, others appear scared that big tech might get out of control and abuse its power.

Along with Twitter’s banning spree, many have also cited a recent change to WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy policy and are now moving to alternative services. On Tuesday, Telegram, one of WhatsApp’s main competitors, confirmed that it had crossed the 500 million user mark, with five percent of those users arriving in the previous there days.

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