Greedy Jerk 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli, Banned From Twitter

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli, whose hobbies include raising life saving drug prices so high Americans have sell their firstborn, paying millions for rare Wu Tang Clan albums, and generally being America's Most Punchable Face, has been indefinitely banned from Twitter. According to a Buzzfeed report, the ban came after Shkreli repeatedly harassed Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, whose viral piece "Donald Trump is Gaslighting America" reminded America that teen magazines are not to be underestimated, and earned Duca spots on cable news including memorable exchange with Tucker Carlson. Many are celebrating the suspension, though Shkreli seems like merely the tip of the iceberg, when white nationalists like Richard Spencer can post freely


According to Duca, Shkreli had been "actively tweeting about dating me," and worse, encouraging additional harassment from his followers.  “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 told Buzzfeed. Shkreli went as far as direct messaging Duca with an invitation to the inauguration, to which Duca responded, "I would rather eat my own organs." 

In response, Shkreli made his timeline photo in a collage of Duca pictures with the words "For better or worse/till death to us part/I'll love with with every beat of my heart" which those of us who attended middle school dances in 1996 will recognize as lyrics to the 90s R and B song "I Swear." He also changed his profile picture to one of Duca and her husband, with his own face photoshopped in. Duca said she was so disturbed she tweeted Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and many of her followers piled on. Twitter didn't respond to Buzzfeed's requests for comment, but his account was suspended on Sunday. 

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While it is laudable that Twitter has at least suspended the account based on harassment accusations, it still begs the question of why they were so quick to act when a media-friendly white woman launches a complaint, but still allows people like White Nationalist Richard Spencer to keep his account, suspending it only briefly for a terms of service violation. The social media platform has been struggling with the fine line between free speech and hate speech for months, finally banning Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos after he unleashed his armies of racist trolls against Leslie Jones, but slower to police multiple accounts threatening journalists with murder during the summer of 2016. Let's hope they figure it out before someone gets hurt. 

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