WhatsApp Bug Lets Users Delete Messages For Everyone After 7 Minutes

WhatsApp Bug Lets Users Delete Messages For Everyone After 7 Minutes

WhatsApp has been on a roll when it comes to adding features. The company has said that Live Location Sharing would be made available to users in the coming weeks, then announced another feature to delete messages for everyone. The new delete feature has now gone live for users over the last couple of days, and it’s a useful addition to WhatsApp’s feature set to rescind any message sent by mistake to any individual or group conversation.

The company stated that the capability to delete messages for everyone would only be available for 7 minutes after a message had been sent. To be specific, the option ‘Delete Message for Everyone’ would disappear after 7 minutes had elapsed. The restriction exists to prevent misuse of the feature.

However, a report by Android Jefe shows that the current version of WhatsApp has a bug which allows any user to delete a message even after the time period of 7 minutes from the time of sending. We were able to corroborate this report on our devices and the bug does exist.

Users can open the delete window before 7 minutes after sending the message and keep the window open. After the 7 minutes have passed, users can delete the message they have sent by tapping on the ‘Delete for Everyone’ button, which is still available.

This means that WhatsApp has made a mistake as simply keeping the delete window open allows the user to delete messages, even after the time window for doing so has passed. The delete window is interfering here, as whenever WhatsApp detects the window is open, the internal timer fails to finish and a message can be deleted whenever a user wishes to delete it.

WhatsApp is expected to fix this bug in a future update, as this is not intended behaviour and it is not happening by design. This highlights the problem (or luxury) that WhatsApp and other tech giants have when they ship new features in products which have billions of users. There is a high chance that new features may have bugs, and with a huge number of users, there is a greater chance of users being able to discover the bugs which are present in the future. As a prevention measure, it is a recommended practice for companies to improve their code quality review practices.

Thanks to Santiago from Android Jefe for the tip!

Source: Android Jefe (in Spanish)

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