About a week ago, Twitter banned “Pharma bro”, Martin Shkreli, for supposedly “harassing” Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca. However, a careful look at the incidents leading to the ban, should convince anyone that there was no harassment involved, and this was just another example of a Feminist claiming victimhood to get their way and silence people.
The female journalist behind the controversy, Duca Lauren, had gained a bit of fame in the past couple of weeks, for penning an article for Teen Vogue accusing Donald Trump of “gaslighting America”. After the article went viral, she made several TV appearances, including a debate with Fox news host Tucker Carlson.
With her popularity growing, Martin Shkreli decided to invite her to Trump’s inauguration as his plus one. It’s no secret that Martin is a stern Trump supporter (and has a lot of money,) so the fact that he got his hands on inauguration tickets shouldn’t surprise anyone.
She responded to his invitation with a Tweet saying she would rather eat her own organs.
After she posted the tweet, Martin declared eternal love for her on twitter; changing his Twitter bio to read “I have a small crush on @laurenduca.”. He also claimed to have purchased the domain name “marrymelauren.com”.
In typical troll fashion, Martin (and other users on twitter), begun photo-shopping pictures of the two as a married couple.
Martin changed his profile picture to an edited photo of Lauren and her husband, swapping his face with his, and changed his twitter banner to a collage of photos of Duca, overlaid with lyrics from John Michael Montgomery’s 1994 single “I Swear.”
That’s all it took.
Lauren Tweeted at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, asking him “how is this allowed”
Martin’s Twitter account disappeared shortly after.
In an email to The Verge, a Twitter spokesperson said that the “temporary suspension” was in related to the harassment of Duca.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Lauren said Martin’s actions were an act of “targeted harassment”, and that he had “upset” her.
Apparently, photo-shopped pictures are an act of harassment now. Since when has being “upset” been reason enough to silence someone? If photo-shopping pictures of people was reason enough to be banned from Twitter, then at least half of Twitter users should have been banned by now. If being upset by someone’s tweets meant you could get that person banned, then its a surprise anyone is still using Twitter.
Martin’s Twitter ban is extremely similar to the case of Milo Yiannopoulos, who was banned from Twitter last year, for supposedly harassing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones (he didn’t). Milo, like Martin, had sent a series of non-threatening tweets to Feminists on Twitter, and apparently that counted as harassment.
If sending many tweets to people is harassment, then I move that Lauren Duca be banned from Twitter, for harassing Donald Trump. More than half of the tweets on her twitter account are directed at @realDonaldTrump, and I think this is an example of targeted harassment™.