Ryan Holiday nails it in this piece from the Observer. Read it twice.
It’s about time that we come to terms with a fundamental reality of this attention economy we live in: human beings will put up with all sorts of indignities, rage, criticism, mockery, and disdain in exchange for getting attention. They’ve learned that if they simply wait out the knee jerk reactions and noise, they still get to stay on stage. And often in the competitive, noisy times we live in, the easiest way to get on that stage in the first place is to do something dumb, out of touch, ridiculous, provocative, offensive or shameless. Especially if the attention that behavior earns can be more easily translated into money than other more rational acts.
…there’s nothing you can say that would offend Martin Shkreli and Vladimir Putin that won’t also embolden them. There’s no truth that one can print that doesn’t help ISIS recruit or PETA raise money. They need you to talk about them and to insult them, to make fun of them is to do that. You are the oxygen to the fire of their fame. They have no reputation to ruin, only notoriety to gain. They don’t care what most people think, only what will traffic with their followers.