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A WhatsApp message with a tiny black dot is crashing Android phones

A WhatsApp message with a tiny black dot is crashing Android phones

  • A bug exploit that hangs WhatsApp.
  • HTML script of the message reveals the secret.
  • This is NOT a virus.
A WhatsApp message containing a small black dot is apparently crashing the app in Android smartphones. The message actually declares the same, saying, “If you touch the👇black point then your WhatsApp will hang.” The black dot follows this message.



If you touch the dot the app stops responding for a few moments. You can simply press the home button, come out of WhatsApp and remove it from the recent apps screen to continue.

It’s not a malware though, just a smart coding trick. The unresponsiveness of such messaging clients is basically caused by sending unrecognised symbols.

The HTML expansion of the message reveals why it does what it does. The text has a repeated use of “&rlm” which is a control character used for alignment purposes.

To understand the bug, you need to know that some languages are written from right to left, while some are written from left to right, like Persian. The message client needs to reflect that when there is a language switch. This switch scrambles the alignment. The “&rlm” character does the same for WhatsApp.



The repeated use of this character in this message overloads your Android smartphone. WhatsApp will probably fix the bug soon enough, but in the meanwhile, you may want to avoid this message.

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