A new WhatsApp message issue has appeared and spread like wildfire just as we were beginning to believe that the days of spam messages were behind us. The message that causes a text encoding error causes WhatsApp to crash or become unresponsive.
This was brought on by a forwarded message that contained the text I can temporarily disable WhatsApp by touching underneath the message until you see a big, black dot with the words “don’t touch here” next to it. The forward appears as follows:
Yes, I am aware that the message appears to be spam right away. However, a few users appear to be a little more hands-on and have chosen to tap the message in order to pique their interest. And it seems that the message was promoting the truth because WhatsApp was indeed frozen or crashed.
And surprisingly, this message only seems to affect Android users whereas tapping the same on iOS devices does nothing. Lucky, iOS users!
If you look at the image above, you can see that there is a clear space before the don’t-touch-here message, which may be the reason why the messaging app crashed. An examination of the HTML code for the same page reveals that the polite warning message has been preceded by many instances of the control character (used to position content differently from other lines), &rlm:
When you tap on WhatsApp, the sheer volume of control characters overwhelms it, and in order to avoid using up all of your device’s RAM, WhatsApp either crashes or freezes in response.
A Telugu character that was received via iMessage or another messaging app recently caused iOS devices to freeze, despite the fact that this is unrelated. Even worse, it caused a few of the devices to crash, but this was quickly resolved with an update. So, over the next weeks, we may anticipate WhatsApp to acknowledge this unpleasant flaw and fix the bug.