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Fake News: This Emoji String Won't Bring Down Your iPhone

If you believed everything you saw on the internet, you'd be a prime target for the latest panic spreading about the iPhone: that receiving a text with a simple string of emoji crashes the handset.

This story, which originated in a YouTube video, is getting reported as fact on a number of major tech websites, and is a prime example of what you might call Fake News.

We tested the emoji string in question — a white flag, a zero and a rainbow — by texting it to my personal iPhone from multiple devices, and it did nothing to slow or crash the handset. According to Mashable, the trick only works on iOS versions 10.0 through 10.1.1, so handsets running the 10.2 update (released this past December) can't be felled by the three-character string.

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Further, it's even more difficult to pull off, as you need to paste the characters into the web version of Apple's Notes app, copy it from that app and send that text. Not only is that incredibly convoluted, but you're safe if you've already updated to iOS 10.2.

When that string is sent using all of the steps listed, it supposedly convinces the iPhone to try to combine the rainbow and the flag into a rainbow flag. Since that cannot be done, the phone supposedly crashes.

While we didn't see a single hiccup during our testing, Mashable claims the phone that received the text slowed down momentarily, but got back to work. So, to EverythingApplePro, the YouTube account that started this frenzy, we say, "Ha, nice try."

  • DWass_
    I think you are absolutely right - just texting some emojis could not do what the video claims. But if you follow the instructions given on the Youtube video (which I haven't, because I'm not a d-bag), they instruct you to visit a web page and click a link. Could it be that somewhere along the way of those convoluted instructions, you are being tricked into downloading something else that can crash the phone? Or is it your belief that the video is a fraud and the whole thing is a lie?