Martin Shkreli’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended on Sunday morning. Ars has confirmed that Twitter suspended the account after the reviled pharmaceutical executive targeted Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca on the social media platform.
Shkreli’s posts about and to Duca apparently began on Thursday in the form of a private, direct message sent by Shkreli, inviting her to be his date for president-elect Donald Trump’s impending inauguration ceremony. Shkreli, a professed Trump supporter, may have specifically targeted Duca due to her articles about Trump at Teen Vogue, including her December editorial titled “Donald Trump is gaslighting America.”
Shkreli followed Duca’s public decline of the invite (“I would rather eat my own organs”) by turning his Twitter profile into an apparent Duca shrine. His “header” image became a collage of various photos of Duca, covered with apparently romantic lyrics from the ballad “I Swear” (“For better or worse / ’til death do us part / I’ll love you with every beat of my heart”), while his profile image was changed to a photo of Duca with her husband, only with Shkreli’s face digitally inserted where the husband’s should be.
On Sunday, Duca took a screencap of Shkreli’s profile, then posted it publicly with a message to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “How is this allowed @jack.”
Before his account was suspended, Shkreli used Twitter to deny that he was engaging in “targeted harassment,” saying instead he was dealing with “unrequited love.” He also claimed to have registered the domain marrymelauren.com—which does appear to have been registered that morning—and then reposted other Twitter users’ doctored images of Shkreli and Duca together in parodies of other romantic comedy films, adding, “If she doesn’t like it, she can DM me or block me.”
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Ars Technica that the suspension is temporary, and that Shkreli’s account can be reinstated, should he click through the suspension-appeal process and make specific changes to his account. The spokesperson offered this statement: “The Twitter rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies.” Shkreli’s suspension follows a similar Twitter ban in 2016 over a Breitbart writer’s harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones.
Teen Vogue and Ars Technica are both owned by Conde Nast.