Online trolls have forced Avengers star Jeremy Renner to shutter his fan app.
Renner, who plays Hawkeye in the Marvel movies, launched the official Jeremy Renner app, which strongly resembled Instagram, earlier this year so that he could interact with fans.
But it appears that things in the online community have gone awry, after users found a glitch in the workings of the site and began impersonating Renner – and other app users – on posts from the actor.
Posting to Twitter to confirm the demise of the app, Renner said: “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.”
Heartbreaking development on the Jeremy Renner app pic.twitter.com/8KNvWJnsGY— Ass Bastard (@IainND) September 4, 2019
According to Entertainment Weekly, problems began when a comedy writer from Canada, Stefan Heck, found that the app sent push notifications to users that appeared to be coming from Renner himself, but could actually be sent my anyone using the app.
Posting his findings to Twitter, the app was then inundated with trolls pretending to be Renner, and posting – sometimes obscene – messages.
Now the fun is over, and the app has been canned, but arguably not before time.
One scathing review post from YouTubers Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden, watched nearly two million times, mocked the app mercilessly, calling it 'basically just Instagram, if the only person allowed to post on Instagram was Jeremy Renner'.
It was also mocked for charging users for in-app features.
Renner will soon be appearing in the new Hawkeye series for Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+, due to launch in the US in November.