Martin Shkreli Harassed Teen Vogue Writer To The Point Of Account Suspension

by Alexandra Svokos
Twitter / REUTERS

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli has one less way to be a trolly twerp now.

Twitter suspended his account on Sunday following targeted harassment of freelance journalist Lauren Duca.

Shkreli is known for astronomically raising the price of an HIV medication, before being arrested for fraud in 2015. He has since kept his infamy constant by being a troll.

Duca rose to fame last month after an article she wrote for Teen Vogue, titled "Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America," went viral due to its quality writing and the sexist disbelief that teenage girls can be interested in politics.

As her star rose, the trolls came out.

Shkreli was the most high-profile of them.

He began tweeting about wanting to date her. Duca told BuzzFeed,

He has been harassing me for a while. It's an ongoing thing. [...] I don't know if he's encouraging people to do this, but there's been a small contingent of trolls telling me to sleep with him — but not that politely.

Shkreli slid into Duca's DMs.

He asked her via Twitter direct message to be his plus-one to the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Duca screenshotted his invitation and tweeted it, adding,

I would rather eat my own organs.

Her tweet of the screenshot went viral, racking up more than 18,000 retweets.

Then things got even creepier, somehow.

Shkreli changed his Twitter bio to be totally Duca-filled. It was super, super creepy.

How is this allowed @jack — Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 8, 2017

He made his header a collage of photos of Duca, which she said were taken off of Twitter, Facebook and Google.

A phrase on the collage read,

For Better or Worse Til Death do Us Part, I'll Love You With Every Single Beat of my Heart

Shkreli changed his Twitter bio photo to a photoshopped picture of himself with Duca on his lap.

It was very disturbing.

Shkreli defended his harassment, saying in tweets,

If she doesnt like me back she can just block me or have her friend tell me

BuzzFeed DM'd her for comment, to which he responded,

LOLOLOLOL why would it make her uncomfortable?

Duca tweeted about Shkreli's harassment, saying,

How is this allowed

She tagged Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter.


Her tweet went viral and many other people picked up her cause.

With growing anger mounting toward Twitter, the platform suspended Shkreli's account.

Which makes sense, of course, because Twitter only ever does something if it makes them look really bad.


Twitter has been under attack for...well...ever for their inadequate handling of harassment, especially that which is sexist and racist.

We're currently on yet another peak of people calling Twitter absolutely useless at protecting women on the site. At the start of 2017, famous writer Lindy West wrote for the Guardian that she had quit Twitter.

She wrote,

[It] may simply be impossible to make this platform usable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.

Although this does take away one form of Shkreli's infamy, it's probably that all he wanted from harassing Duca was more attention, and thus he got it as we all cover this story.

A Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed,

The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies.

It should be noted that Twitter has yet to suspend the account of Donald Trump, a notorious Twitter harasser.

Duca and Shkreli have both commented on the account suspension.

Duca made it clear in a video that this harassment was far from welcome. She told BuzzFeed,

He's an entitled creep and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended -- perhaps indefinitely.

Shkreli told the New York Daily News they were harassing him by calling and asking for comment on his harassment. He said,

I'll come out there and beat the shit out of you if you fucking keep harassing me.

He broadcasted that call on Periscope, which is owned by Twitter.

Great job keeping harassers off your platforms, Twitter.

Citations: Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, New York Daily News