Twitter Bans Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli for Harassing Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 6:40 pm, January 8, 2017
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Martin Shkreli, the infamous Pharma Bro, has been temporarily suspended from Twitter for harassing Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca. Shkreli, 33, became one of the most hated people in America when his company hiked the price of a life-saving HIV drug by 5000%. Shkreli then made a notoriously smug appearance before a Congressional committee questioning his pricing.

He is the latest high-profile personality to be suspended from Twitter, following in the wake of Milo Yiannopoulos who was permanently banned last year for his negative interactions with Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.

The Pharma Bro’s interactions with Duca began after her appearance on the Tucker Carlson show, in which she verbally sparred with the conservative commentator over her controversial article “Trump is Gaslighting America”. Shkreli, who’s a fan of Donald Trump, then sent Duca direct messages asking her to go on a date with him to the Trump inauguration later this month.

Duca, in turn, screencapped his DMs to make fun of him.

Shkreli responded by changing his entire Twitter account into a shrine dedicated to Lauren Duca, replacing his profile image with a photoshopped picture of himself with her—replacing her husband. He also changed his header background to a collage of the journalist.

Say what you will about the opinions Duca expresses on her Twitter account, or on any of the publications she writes for, but Shkreli was very clearly taunting her.

Duca tweeted her concerns to @Jack, Twitter’s CEO, prompting other users to lodge complaints about Shkreli on her behalf. Twitter suspended his account within hours of the reports.

Speaking to Duca, BuzzFeed’s David Mack solicited a quote from her. “He’s an entitled creep and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended – perhaps indefinitely,” she said.

Twitter has also been in touch with The Verge to confirm that Shkreli’s suspension was “related to the harassment of Duca,” but did not provide any further details. It is unknown when he will be allowed back on the platform.

Shkreli was previously in the news when he got upset about an analogue of himself appearing in the video game Watch Dogs 2. He is also currently under federal criminal indictment for securities fraud and out on bail pending trial.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken game critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.