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Twitter gives Martin Shkreli a timeout

The pharmaceutical executive's account is suspended following his trolling of a freelance journalist.

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Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles during questioning last year on Capitol Hill.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Twitter suspended Martin Shkreli's account on Sunday following harassment of a freelance journalist.

The pharmaceutical executive began trolling Lauren Duca after she wrote an opinion piece for Teen Vogue in December under the headline Donald Trump is Gaslighting America. Shkreli, a Trump supporter, soon began peppering Duca with messages of faux attraction, including an invitation to be his date at Trump's inauguration, which Duca tweeted last week.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment but confirmed to the BBC that the suspension was related to the harassment of Duca.

Harassing and abusive tweets, while not a new occurrence on Twitter, have received increased scrutiny in recent years. Actress-comedian Leslie Jones briefly left Twitter last summer after her tweetstorm about being a victim of sexist and racist abuse. Twitter subsequently permanently banned the account of British journalist and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, one of the principals accused of launching the abuse campaign against Jones.

Shkreli came to notoriety in 2015 after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the HIV medication Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight (which roughly converts to £611 or AU$1027).

Shkreli could not immediately be reached for comment.