It appears that trolls have officially hit the bullseye on Hawkeye actor, Jeremy Renner, as the Avengers star has been forced to shut down his personal mobile application, Jeremy Renner Official, following a deluge of trolling on the app.
What some Renner fans are now calling "PornoGate" began with a joke by a comedy writer on the app and soon spiraled into a cavalcade of trolling that rendered the app, designed for Renner to communicate directly with his fans, effectively useless.
The concept for Jeremy Renner Official is that it was like Renner's own personal social media account. Celebrities all use Instagram or Twitter, but they don't have control over the content. Plus, those platforms could always remove the celebrities' content if they felt like it. So a company called ESCAPEX developed a series of apps for celebrities to customize as their own distinct social media. The appeal is that it attracts almost solely actual fans of the celebrity, while other social media often brings out people who want to insult the celebrity. The other appeal is that you can monetize your own social media. In the case of Jeremy Renner Official, fans can purchase "stars" to put them on the "leaderboard" of the application and Renner would interact more with the fans on the leaderboard.
In any event, a comedian named Stefan Heck downloaded the app and discovered that the way that the app worked, whenever you got a notification, it appeared as though it was Renner telling you the message, like so...
Heck then thought it would be hilarious then to reply to one of Renner's messages asking fans what they were doing on the weekend by saying that he was going to look at "porno" on his computer...
Obviously, this was then delivered as a notification to the other fans on the app as if Renner was saying it. That made a lot of people laugh and it led to people continuing with Heck's approach, with some even creating screen names using Renner's actual name and it soon devolved into a whole mess of chaotic trolling.
Eventually, Renner had enough and released the following statement saying that this was the endgame for the app:
“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 EXCAPEX, the company that runs this app to shut it down immediately and refund anyone who has purchased and 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 and can’t or won’t condone. My sincere apologies for this to have not turned out the way it ws intended. To all the super-fans who have supported me with your words or encouragement, amazing art, stories, and time shared on the app, a genuine thank you and I hope to see you on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.”
Luckily for "Rennheads," Renner was prone to posting the same messages from Jeremy Renner Official on his Instagram account, as well, so they might not miss out on too much Renner content.