The short-lived (and official) Jeremy Renner app has been shut down by the actor after people figured out they could exploit features of the quasi-social media platform to make it look like the Avengers star was saying, well… anything.
Over the course of a week, Renner’s app was transformed from a weirdly docile community of likeminded Renner fans to a chaotic swamp of insults and dick jokes and Jeremy Epstein accounts and other Very Bad Things.
Launched in 2017 and shut down on Thursday, Renner announced that the app would be collapsed because it had “jumped the shark”. A bright blue banner with the simple message “Goodbye”, his statement exploded across social media, largely because of its content but also because of his choice in font.
“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,” he wrote.
truly lmfao r.i.p. the jeremy renner app pic.twitter.com/VWFx201ZNb
— karen han (@karenyhan) September 4, 2019
So what happened to Renner’s beautiful app to turn it into a Frankenstein’s monster of trolling and dick jokes? The answer, if you are over the age of thirty, probably won’t shock you.
A lot of the chaos came from a function on the app discovered by writer Stefen Heck. Heck discovered that all push notifications from the app appeared on your phone as if they had been sent my Jeremy Renner himself.
“What this means,” writes Heck, “as you’ve probably figured out by now, is that if you post “Lookin’ good, Mr. Renner!” under a blurry video of Jeremy driving a dump truck and someone named football_jersey97 replies with “There is diarrhea shooting out of my penis,” your phone will buzz and you will receive a notification with the words “Jeremy Renner: There is diarrhea shooting out of my penis” next to a little picture of Jeremy Renner’s face.”
It’s all wonderful stuff.
Heck’s realisation first came on Twitter and it is there where his now-viral discovery lead others to try their hand at manipulating Jeremy Renner’s secret garden. In a story of obviously-that-would-happen-on-the-internet, the Official Jeremy Renner app was run over with people posting under screennames like “Jeremy Epstein” and “Casey Anthony”, trolling white power hashtags, and messages in comment threads that were more fitted to science fiction forums.
Even those who found themselves blocked by the app’s administrators were able to reach out one final time through the app’s iTunes reviews.
lmao they actually let my review of the jeremy renner app go up pic.twitter.com/6iKZ3fUx1P
— joshua sorensen (@namebrandjosh) September 3, 2019
It is safe to say that, while owning an official app in the first place is a weird move from someone with the cultural footprint of Jeremy Renner, this is not why he created his app.
Before the chaos, Rennerds (the name of his fandom which I have just made up) came together in a combined enjoyment of Renner’s extremely 21 Pilots-esque debut album and a love of all things Renner. What’s not to love? Dude’s like 50 and had a mohawk. He’s Hawkeye. He’s Hurt Locker. He’s other things too, I’m sure. Now those Rennerds have been left to wander the internet, lost and aimless, desperate to find solace in some other community drawn together by their love of all things Jeremy Renner.
I for one am excited for one happens next.