Twitter Suspends Martin Shkreli Pharma Exec Who Jacked Up Price of HIV Meds 

Twitter Suspends Martin Shkreli Pharma Exec Who Jacked Up Price of HIV Meds 

Martin Shkreli has been suspended from Twitter.

The pharmaceutical executive, who rose to infamy in 2016 for hiking the price of an HIV medication by 5,000 percent, was penalized for a series of tweets aimed at Lauren Duca, the Teen Vogue writer who recently went head to head with Tucker Carlson on Fox News in a sexist interview.

On Thursday, Shkreli reached out to Duca with a direct message on Twitter, asking her to be his guest at Donald Trump's inauguration. 

"I would rather eat my own organs," tweeted Duca, to which Shkreli responded, "well, start with your heart."

After the exchange, Shkreli plastered the banner of his Twitter page with a self-described "collage" of Duca. His profile picture became a photograph of Duca with her husband, with his own face Photoshopped over the latter's face. He altered his Twitter bio to read, “also i have a small crush on @laurenduca (hope she doesn’t find out)."

In addition, Shkreli has been recently tweeting Duca, urging her to date him, despite her relationship status and repeated objections. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Duca also revealed, "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."

Duca, tweeting an image of Shkreli's page Sunday to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, asked "how is this allowed." The tweet went viral, with thousands expressing outrage over Shkreli's harassment of Duca.

Twitter responded by suspending Shkreli's account.

“The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies," the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

“He’s an entitled creep and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended —perhaps indefinitely," Duca replied in response to the news.

Duca has received a slew of sexist messages on Twitter since she sparred in December with Carlson, who told her she should “stick to the thigh-high boots. You’re better at that," during a conversation over politics. The pair had been discussing whether Ivanka Trump deserved to be confronted on an airplane over criticism of her father. During the heated exchange, Duca called Carlson a "partisan hack" for stifling debate that wasn't one-sided.

Since then, Duca has been threatened with sexual abuse on social media, with one user telling her to "get raped" on Christmas Day.

“I feel like I have to weather this,” she told CBS News. “The goal is to silence me, and I can’t let them silence me.”

Tags: Stigma, Activism

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