Over the past several months, former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has trolled journalists who have written or tweeted about him by purchasing the internet domains associated with their names.
After sitting on the domain names for months, Shkreli appears to be customising the sites, explicitly mocking reporters who have tweeted about him.
On a website named after Vanity Fair tech reporter Maya Kosoff, for example, the site welcomes the visitor, adding: “Here we honour one of the most vibrant Social Justice advocates today,” a reference to “social justice warriors,” a derisive slur associated with advocacy for liberal causes.
Shkreli wrote a similar message on a website he bought associated with CNBC editor Caroline Moss: The landing page on a site associated with her name welcomes visitors, saying the site has “Everything you need to know about this CNBC safe-spacer,” a reference to college “safe-spaces” often mocked by the right.
Since the beginning of the year, Shkreli has purchased domain names for 12 people, including journalists and commentators from CNBC, Vice, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, AOL, Bloomberg, Dealbreaker, Gizmodo, and Business Insider.
In an email to Business Insider, Shkreli dismissed Kosoff and Moss’ work, and described his activity on the sites as “occupying cool namespaces.”
“Anything special you want on yours?” he asked.
“I wouldn’t call these people “journalists.” They are the unwitting recipients of liberalism subsidy from large media and telecom companies,” Shkreli said, saying they were “only a few notches above the white supremacists we hear so much about these days.”
Shkreli first 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, and has since embraced his image as a provocateur and “pharma-bro.”
When Shkreli’s Twitter account was suspended in January after he harassed Teen Vogue opinion writer Lauren Duca, the former exec scooped up domain names for journalists, snagging “marrymelauren.com” on the day he was suspended from the social network.
He’s continued to mock and criticise journalists who’ve covered the spectacle surrounding his trial and celebrity, particularly singling out outlets that cover the pharmaceutical industry.
Shkreli has repeatedly blasted CNBC, refusing to take questions from a CNBC reporter after being convicted this month of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud during his time managing Retrophin, a drug company he ran.
He livestreamed himself earlier this year purchasing domain names associated with Bloomberg pharma reporter Max Nisen, who has written about Shkreli, and Noisey reporter Phil Witmer, who 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.”
“Can I buy philwitmer.com right now? Yes I can, and yes I will,” he said on a livestream.
The former CEO has also toyed with reporters in other ways, such as posting private exchanges with former STAT correspondent Dylan Scott to “put this geek journalist on notice” when Scott reached out to Shkreli for a story.
After Business Insider published an article about Shkreli’s actions, he purchased a domain associated with the author of the post, and emailed the author offering the opportunity to purchase the domain.
Disclosure: Moss, Kosoff, and Nisen previously worked at Business Insider.
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