Martin Shkreli has been suspended from Twitter after harassing reporter Lauren Duca, with the pharmaceutical CEO having Photoshopped his head onto her husband’s body in a photo of the couple, along with decorating his Twitter profile with photos of the journalist.
Shkreli, best known for his morally bankrupt decision to raise the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, contacted Duca in order to request that she attend Donald Trump’s inauguration alongside him. Considering that Duca is most famous for her distinctly anti-Trump Teen Vogue article ‘Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,’ she predictably declined his offer, tweeting: “I would rather eat my own organs.”
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
After this tweet, Shkreli then began to target Duca on the social media platform, changing his profile photo to a Photoshopped image of the journalist and her husband, with Shkreli’s head Photoshopped onto her husband’s body. He also altered his header image to a collage of photos of Duca, alongside lyrics from All 4 One’s ‘I Swear.’ Shkreli also purchased the domain ‘marrymelauren.com,’ while his followers also began tweeting out edited images of the pair.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 8, 2017
Duca promptly tweeted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding Shkreli’s behavior, which led to him being suspended from Twitter with no word as to how long this ban will last. But even through Shkreli’s internet notoriety revolves around his decision to essentially leave people to die in order to make some extra cash, there are inevitably many who have sided with him as a result of their disdain for his target.
Duca’s work for Teen Vogue, which became one of the most prolific left-leaning publications throughout the US election, has seen her attract plenty of negative attention online. While Shkreli’s decision to raise the price of Daraprim was an objectively heinous decision that was met with disgust from pretty much everyone at the time, the pharma CEO’s cartoonish villainy has seen him able to reposition himself as little more than an internet troll since then. This means that even though Shkreli is a terrible human being, many of the internet’s most lowly (and almost uniformly anonymous) individuals have came to his defense as a result of Duca’s political stances, because apparently writing about the US election is more abhorrent than preventing people from dying from AIDS.
— Ryan Skelton (@DrRyanSkelton) January 8, 2017
Duca has since tweeted about the incident, writing: “Imagine if even a tenth of effort that goes into silencing defiant women was used for good lol.” Speaking to The Verge, Shkreli reportedly said that he didn’t view his actions as harassment, saying that the Photoshopped images were similar to those someone would make of “Justin Bieber or any other celebrity.”