Recently, a Telugu script message went viral on WhatsApp and it has been reported that the message has crashed WhatsApp on various devices. According to the reports, a message which consisted of a ‘Telugu’ text bomb reached WhatsApp and crashed the app on Android and iOS both. The message was circulating on the network as a forward message and claimed to hang the app for a while.
The message stated, “If you touch the black point then your WhatsApp will hang.” The message had a black icon and upon clicking it the app became unresponsive and froze for a while. This was not a hoax as claimed by many WhatsApp users after experiencing the crash. The app is freezing but the actual culprit here is not the Black icon. There is a small hidden trick in the message which causes the app to freeze. The empty space between the text and the black dot is the reason which makes the app to freeze.
When the message was converted to HTML format it was revealed that the text consisted of RLM (right-to-left mark). This is an invisible formatting character which is used to differentiate between left-to-right (LRM) and right-to-left (RLM). WhatsApp uses LRM and therefore using the wrong directional formatting character makes WhatsApp change the direction as a result of which the app crashes.
So how do you protect yourself? If you see such a message, simply delete it rather than tapping on it!