Byrne assumed the more full-time role of rogue warrior last year when he sold all of his shares in the company in order to buy cryptocurrency and deep-six the oligarchy and Deep State, a mission that he has been after since 2004, according to his blog byline. (For what it’s worth, the pursuit is somewhat confirmed by a wild New Yorker profile, which describes his relationship with Russian gun-rights activist and foreign agent Maria Butina, whom he reported to the FBI. The profile also mentions a parachuting stunt involving a tuxedo at a breaking ground ceremony for Overstock. But that’s probably unrelated to the Twitter thing.)
Over the past few months, Byrne attempted to lend credibility to Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud. In late November, he announced that he’d enlisted a “team of hackers and cybersleuths” to validate the conspiracy theory that fueled insurrection at the Capitol last week. In late December, Byrne tweeted that he’d been present at an election overthrow strategy meeting of Trump advisers. On the night before the Capitol riot, he told a crowd of Trump supporters that the “rigged election” represents the rise of an authoritarian regime. On Twitter, he’s attributed President-elect Joe Biden’s win to the CCP, supported the unfounded Dominion voting machine conspiracy theory, and spread a rumor about “fake” ballots in Georgia.
“I know enough to fry the Deep State to ashes,” he wrote last year, in typical action movie rhetoric, in his Overstock departure letter. Byrne has not yet shared this knowledge, but he also said that by selling his shares, he was shielding Overstock from the SEC (part of the Deep State).
Byrne is the latest conspiracy theorist in Trump’s circle to lose his Twitter privileges—previously, Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who pushed the Dominion voting machine hoax, and QAnon soldier Michael Flynn. They—and Trump—are just the most high-profile characters to be deplatformed in Twitter’s mass suspension of over 70,000 accounts following the Capitol riot.
It’s unclear when or whether he’ll get his account back. Gizmodo has reached out to both Byrne and Twitter and will update the post if we hear back.
Update 2/14/2020 8:01 am ET: Patrick Byrne replied to our request for comment. He wrote via email:
“Twitter was not really part of my life. I never used it once until a year ago (all prior tweets were from a press assistant ). In the last year I used it a handful of times at best, up until I got involved in this election fraud matter a couple of months ago. I have used it extensively, and my followers jumped to 300,000.
Why did they do it? Because they are Orwellian. Fascism is a phenomen of the Left, remember.”