WhatsApp users with Android versions of the app have recently been experiencing some unpleasant incidents due to a black spot prank message. The incident appeared to affect only Android devices and caused them to freeze if the user tapped the black dot in the message. However, you shouldn’t be worried, as WhatsApp explained what the problem was.
The black spot prank temporarily freezes your WhatsApp
The black spot prank consists of a WhatsApp message containing the black dot in question and a warning message. This message warns users that tapping the spot might cause the entire app to freeze. Although people call it a prank, both the device and the app stop working when you do it. However, they don’t suffer any permanent damage.
This freezing effect doesn’t last long and, according to experts, it doesn’t get your phone broken. So far, only Android users experienced this incident. There have been no reports regarding any freezing events involving iOS devices, but WhatsApp might soon solve the problem on all platforms.
The prank overloads the app and it stops working
What makes the black spot prank effective, after all? You might say it’s the black spot itself, but the situation is actually a bit different. Experts took the message and converted it to HTML. This way, they saw the space following the spot was actually a repetition of the “&rlm:,” characters.
These characters control the invisible text that separates other characters and signal they are different. Since the black spot prank used two masked control characters, the app overloaded and temporarily crashed. However, there seems to be no malicious purpose behind this black spot prank.
The person who made it is, indeed, clever. However, they included no malicious links or viruses in the message. What it does is to make the app freeze for a few moments only to regain its well-functioning. While it might be disturbing when it happens, it has no long-term effect on your device.
Image source: PxHere