Here's what happened when a reporter matched with drug financier Martin Shkreli on Tinder


What happens when you match with a bold-faced name on Tinder?

For Eve Peyser, a writer for the Daily Dot and several other outlets, you make the most of the suddenly exclusive interview that’s fallen into your lap.

Last week, Peyser encountered Martin Shkreli, the CEO of a pharma company that raised the price of a live-saving drug 5,400 percent. Outrage was swift, but for days, Shkreli expressed little remorse.

So Peyser got a bit snarky right away once she realized who she was talking to, asking him if he was DTGMAD: “down to give me AIDS drugs.” Shkreli took it in stride.

She then more formally put on her reporter’s cap, asking how he felt about all the coverage. “It’s fine,” he replied.

He tried to give his side of the story…

Finally, apparently convinced that Shkreli’s arguments may have had some merit, she gives him an out and muses whether capitalism is really to blame.

In a piece for Mic summing up her interactions, Peyser reveals why she ended up backing down in her line of questioning.

“When he gave me a cordial response to my questions, I started developing empathy for him,” she wrote. Peyser has written in the past about mental illness, and began to wonder if Shrkeli may also be suffering from something similar.

“I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like to be on the receiving end of so much Internet outrage,” she wrote. “After all, the guy can’t even Tinder anymore without his conversations going viral.”

Shkreli seems to have been chastened himself. Forty-eight hours after Pollack’s story—and the corresponding outrage—he reversed course and promised to bring the price of the drug, Daraprim, which treats toxoplasmosis, back down. He’s also made his once rambunctious Twitter account private.

Peyser concludes by saying that while she would never go out with Shkreli, she left the experience thinking differently not just about the pharma CEO, but about also about Tinder, and dating.

“Matching with him on Tinder did make me think of him as a real person, in a way that I wouldn’t have from just reading a news story about him,” she writes. “It also made me think of the other matches I get on Tinder as more human as well, which I don’t always ask myself when I’m just swiping right and left blindly.”

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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