Pharmaceutical executive and noted social media troll Martin Shkreli seemingly took his antagonistic schtick too far this week, and his high-profile Twitter account has been temporarily suspended for harassing a Teen Vogue writer.
Shkreli, who currently faces federal securities fraud charges relating to his pharmaceutical business (he’s currently scheduled to stand trial on June 26), drew both a huge amount of attention and criticism on Sunday morning for his tweets at Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca.
Duca, whose profile exploded in recent months with her widely-read piece “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America,” as well as a contentious interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, found herself on the receiving end of Shkreli’s unwanted public affection, following her public rejection of an invitation to the Donald Trump inauguration.
Last Thursday, Duca tweeted out a screenshot of a direct message from Shkreli, inviting her to the event, along with a straightforward response.
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
In other words, that’s a no, Martin. But apparently such straightforward rejection wasn’t enough for him. By Sunday, Shkreli responded by changing his Twitter header image to a collage of photos of Duca. His profile photo was also changed to an image of Duca sitting next to her husband, with Shkreli’s own face Photoshopped over his.
Needless to say, Duca—who’s already been the target of a deluge of sexist harassment in the aftermath of both her viral Teen Vogue piece and the Carlson interview—was bothered by this, and she tweeted visual evidence of Shkreli’s unsettling behavior to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
About three hours later, Shkreli’s account was suspended, because of his tweets at Duca.
“The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Dot.
Shkreli can appeal the suspension, but he will have to make changes to his account in order for it to be reinstated.
Update 3:24pm CT: Here’s a statement Duca released in an email to the Daily Dot:
“Martin Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended. It’s unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he’s relatively high-profile. Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That’s something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper. Finally, for any of my personal aggressors reading this: Would I rather you leave me alone? Of course! But know that you will never, ever silence me. Every one of your messages only serves to strengthen my resolve. I promise to never stop fighting.”