- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli is trolling journalists who have written about him by purchasing the internet domains associated with their names.
A recent look at the domains bought by Shkreli noted that he bought domain names for at least 10 people in the past several months, 5 of whom work in media and have written and tweeted about the former Turing Pharmaceuticals founder.
Shkreli, of course, sparked national outrage when he raised the price by 5,000% for a drug used to combat a disease that can be fatal to people with HIV.
Over the past five months, Shkreli has purchased domains associated with writers from Vice, Vanity Fair, AOL, Bloomberg, Dealbreaker, and Gizmodo, along with others associated with other individuals critical of Shkreli on social media.
Shkreli didn’t appear to be too happy when Noisey reporter Phil Witmer published a story titled “Lil B Shouts Out Martin Shkreli, We All Die a Little Inside,” in which he dubbed Shkreli a “living cartoon gremlin,” and called rapper Lil B’s shoutout a “stain on BasedGod’s good name.”
The ex-CEO, who did not respond to a request for comment, posted an hour-long video mocking Witmer, and became so upset when he realized Witmer blocked him on Twitter that Shkreli purchased “philwitmer.com.”
“Can I buy philwitmer.com right now? Yes I can, and yes I will,” he said to whoever was watching his livestream.
In the weeks after Shkreli’s Twitter account was suspended in January for harassing Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, the former exec started buying up domain names for journalists, snagging “marrymelauren.com” on the day he was suspended.
Max Nisen suffered a similar fate as Witmer – Shkreli livestreamed a call between himself and the Bloomberg pharma reporter after he tweeted about Shkreli’s suspension from Twitter in January.
Shkreli appears to enjoy toying with reporters – he often posts private exchanges with journalists on his social media profiles.
When STAT correspondent Dylan Scott reached out to Shkreli for a story about his criticism of drug companies, the former CEO “put this geek journalist on notice,” posting a private exchange between the two on Facebook.
guys, I have been cyberbullied by Martin Shkreli
but I’m here to tell you, I made it through
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) January 24, 2017
But personal sites weren’t the only domains Shkreli wanted to lock down.
In October, Shkreli went on a buying spree, cornering the market on the site “thotpatrol,” a slang term short for “That Ho Over There.” In rapid succession, Shkreli scooped up thotpatrol.com, thotpatrol.info, thotpatrol.net, and thotpatrol.org, ensuring that competitors would never be able to imitate whatever he has in mind for thotpatrol.
Since raising the prices of Daraprim, Shkreli has both embraced and attempted to distance himself from his villainous public image. He’s smirked his way through testimony on Capitol Hill about the price of drugs, while arguing he’s been unfairly demonized by the public when other pharma companies raise drug prices.
Update: After this article was published, Shkreli purchased a domain associated with the author of this post.