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The Jeremy Renner app was like if he were the only person using Instagram: a constant feed of updates about his career and private life. The Verge reports that it was a wholesome place for fans to stay up-to-date with the actor and musician, and interact with him as well as other fans. That was until the trolls took over, of course.
Renner created the app, which was free to download, in 2017 so that he could connect with his fans more directly. In order to interact with Renner’s posts–beyond liking and commenting–users were able to purchase “stars,” which established a leaderboard of top fans for each post. The more stars a user gave a post, the higher their position on the board, which increased their likelihood of being noticed by Renner and receiving a generic greeting from him. You get the picture.
Renner announced he was shutting the app down on Wednesday after trolls were impersonating him and making it an unwelcome place for well-intentioned users.
In a “goodbye” post, Renner wrote, “The app has jumped the shark. Literally. Due to clever individuals that were able to manipulate ways to impersonate me and others within the app I have asked ESCAPEX, the company that runs this app to shut it down immediately and refund anyone who has purchased any stars over the last 90 days. What was supposed to be a place for fans to connect with each other has turned into a place that is everything I detest or won’t condone.”
jeremy renner just wanted to give the world something nice and positive, but y'all just had to like you do and take it and say 'no. we cant have this' pic.twitter.com/q3nAfwh769— Albus Doesntsipbeer Ph D (@imachainsaw) September 5, 2019
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the troll activity included someone impersonating Casey Anthony–among other “controversial” names–and making offensive comments.
Twitter user @ScallopFever shared a screenshot of the fake Casey Anthony account at work.
“Hey Jeremy Renner. I am your biggest fan. So was my kid. Hope you see this,” the troll wrote, impersonating Anthony, who was notoriously accused of killing her child in 2008.
Wow. Casey Anthony let her kid love Jeremy Renner even though he's not designed for children. I'm gonna say it, she's a pretty crummy mom! pic.twitter.com/b7QFq1HKNe— Mike 'Pinecone' Hallberg (@ScallopFever) August 28, 2019
Deadspin writer Stefan Heck has taken responsibility for “breaking” the app after admitting to “lightly trolling” users by “posting the word ‘porno.'” Heck was likely not the only troll at play.
The Jeremy Renner app had already been on the receiving end of criticism and jokes for several months.
i love the jeremy renner app pic.twitter.com/gLIJL9mVeG— gribbie (@gribbie) August 30, 2019
I met my wife on the Jeremy Renner app— shadowbanned from official jeremy renner app (@dylmdav) August 30, 2019
In the past few days the Jeremy Renner app has turned into the darkest corner of the internet pic.twitter.com/SuywxqLx7m— Chris Baio (@OIAB) August 30, 2019
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce I have been banned from the Jeremy Renner app for this post. pic.twitter.com/uRFkwAcHjN— soul nate (@MNateShyamalan) August 30, 2019
Remake THE SOCIAL NETWORK about the Jeremy Renner app— Russell Goldman (@russelltweetz) September 4, 2019
The Jeremy Renner app is pure chaos I can’t get enough pic.twitter.com/OLmlPRxWlQ— Kenjac (@JackKennedy) August 29, 2019
the jeremy renner app is absolutely out of control pic.twitter.com/Il6iiYMWaa— Kate Knibbs 🏄🏻♀️ (@Knibbs) August 29, 2019
Renner ended his “goodbye” post by thanking his fans, saying that he would see them later on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. RIP to the Jeremy Renner app, a well-intentioned place never meant to survive in this cruel, cruel world.
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H/T the Verge
Brooke Sjoberg is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Daily Texan's Life and Arts Editor and an editorial intern for Texas Connect magazine.