The founder of the video calling and gaming app Houseparty, is offering a $1 Million (roughly £810,000) reward for any evidence that the company is the victim of a underhand smear campaign.
The owners of Houseparty are reputed online gaming company Epic Games, which also created Fortnite and Assassin's Creed, they acquired Houseparty in 2019. The demand for a video calling app which integrates gaming has never been higher than now, due to the Covid-19 measures put in place, many people are either avoiding meeting friends or being prohibited from doing so.
Over the last couple of days rumours appeared on various social media networks, mainly Twitter, which claimed that users who downloaded the app led to their other accounts such as Netflix, Spotify and even their mobile banking account being hacked.
Houseparty has said there was "no evidence" to back up any of these claims. Over the past few weeks, Houseparty has become one of the most downloaded apps in the UK and several countries due to social isolation policies across the world. Downloads of the Houseparty app rose from an average of 130K per week in February to 2 million per week throughout March.
Epic Games does not know why Houseparty have become the victims of a smear campaign but have pledged to pay for whoever has evidence or more information about the origins of these "slanderous" messages. Some experts believe that it may be a coincidence, fraud happens constantly online, but as so many people have recently downloaded the app it has led them to link the two when in fact there is no correlation.