Shkreli trolls Columbia students in their safe space

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • Finance tycoon Martin Shkreli has infiltrated a meme group run by Columbia University students, resulting in dozens of students demanding that the “dangerous” man be kicked out of the online community.
  • Shkreli has responded facetiously to many of the outraged posts, which only further enraged the students, who called his presence in the group a "triggering" violation of their safe space.
  • Finance tycoon Martin Shkreli has infiltrated a meme group run by Columbia University students, resulting in dozens of students demanding that the “dangerous” man be kicked out of the online community.

    Columbia Buy Sell Memes” is a Facebook group dedicated to humorous memes about Columbia—a group Shkreli recently joined to the consternation of many other members.

    “When students say he violated their safe space, they are being spoiled little brats...”   

    On the meme page, Shkreli has talked to students, debated with some of them, and he even offered to host a night at a local campus bar to meet some of them.

    [RELATED: UT instructors meet students in bars to avoid campus carry]

    But many Columbia students were none too flattered by Shkreli’s presence in the group, saying he was being “triggering” and “upsetting,” and demanded that he leave (or be expelled from) the meme group.

    “A Google search led me to believe that he has no ties to Columbia University whatsoever, and some of his practices are considered questionable, at best, by the communal standards of this University,” wrote one student, a math student at Harvard University. “I urge the admin to remove him from the group.”

    Other participants were more specific in their criticisms, accusing Shkreli of “price gouging” for raising the price of an antiparasitic drug in 2015, and lamenting “the negative impact his greed has had on other people’s lives.”

    “Why are people joking with and casually trolling a person who tried to make vital medical resources impossible to get for the average American?” one student asked. “Like how is this a casual thing can someone explain[?]”

    Shkreli laughed off that initial salvo, awarding the student a facetious “10/10” for “good facts,” but offered a stronger retort when another student reiterated the accusations less than an hour later.

    “This man has hurt so many people,” the student wrote, urging classmates not to “cater to him” in response to Shkreli’s offer to meet with his interlocutors at a campus bar.

    “Do not let him buy you a beer with his blood money. Do not feed the troll,” the post concluded. “Band together and let this monster know he is unwelcome here.”

    “What the hell are you talking about?” an incredulous Shkreli replied within moments. “I’ve helped enormous numbers of people. Who has been HURT? What an insane comment.”

    Many students deleted their comments after being contacted by Campus Reform, but others have continued calling for his ouster.

    Columbia sophomore Brian Min, on the other hand, told Campus Reform that he doesn’t believe Shkreli should be censored from the meme group, which boasts a membership of over 26,000.

    “Free speech is on the verge of dying if admins of the meme group refuse to accommodate a man who has worked his way up from rags to riches,” Min argued. “What’s not to say you or I may become a target of censorship if Martin Shkreli is silenced?”

    [RELATED: Safe space ‘conversation’ ‘not intended to be an open discussion’]

    Min went on to express his contempt for the students who complained that Shkreli is a threat to the “safe space” of the meme group, contending that those students should instead be “thanking” Shkreli for sparking a national conversation about possible shortcoming in the pharmaceutical industry

    “When students say he violated their safe space, they are being spoiled little brats who have no grasp of reality because Martin Shkreli is not a threat to anyone,” Min declared. “He is not the greatest human being on earth, but we should all listen to what he has to say.”

    As of publication, Shkreli has not yet been removed from the Columbia meme group, but he has not responded to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent

    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on college campuses for Campus Reform. She is a junior at Barnard College, and also contributes regularly to The College Fix, USA Today College, Red Alert Politics, and Quillette Magazine. She formerly held a post with the Columbia Spectator and has been featured on Fox News and on the Drudge Report.

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