Apple Is Fixing iMessage's Spam Problem

Updated

Apple is working to fix a spam problem in its iMessage platform, according to a new report.Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

Chinese media outlets on Thursday (Aug. 2) said that Apple is working with the country's wireless carriers to develop a tool to reduce spam. Apple confirmed to Reuters, which earlier covered the reports, that it's "been working to reduce the issue of spam for quite some time." The company balked, however, at saying whether it was doing that in concert with Chinese telecoms.

According to the Chinese media outlets, Apple is especially concerned about developing tools to more quickly determine whether a message is spam or not. New tools will also block certain accounts from being able to send spam, according to the Chinese outlets.

MORE: iOS 12: Here's the Top 11 New Features

The report comes days after state-run media in China complained of a spam problem in Apple's iMessages. Because Chinese phone numbers and the phones themselves are often sold through the black market, spam has become an increasingly troubling issue in China. Spammers see opportunities to target people in hopes of making a quick buck on their scams.

Pushing Apple to do something might not be the fairest way to handle the problem, considering how spam is causing issues in the first place, but the iPhone maker appears willing to take up the task. Whether the service will only be available in China or if Apple has plans to bring the more aggressive spam-filtering to all versions of its app is unknown.

Still, the report comes at a time when American companies are under scrutiny in China. Earlier this week, a report from The Intercept surfaced, saying Google is working on a search engine for mainland China that would censor and blacklist certain search results deemed dangerous by the government. The reported move has been roundly criticized by digital rights groups.