Hear ye, hear ye! Beware the “black dot of death” — it’s coming for us all. A new bug is causing iPhone users’ iMessage app to crash, and people are taking advantage of it. The bug, which looks like the black dot emoji (⚫), contains a massive string of invisible Unicode text, Mashable reports. Opening the black dot text clogs iMessage’s memory and completely kills the app. And unfortunately, neither force-quitting the app nor restarting the phone will reverse the damage.
What’s worse is that the black dot of death is making the rounds because friends are using it to prank each other. Rude!
The black dot bug affects iOS 11.3 and the current iOS 11.4 beta seeds, according to Cult of Mac, and Apple has yet to release a fix for it. In February 2018, iPhones were plagued by a similar bug that disguised itself as a character from the Indian language Telugu. That bug not only destroyed the iMessage app, but also brought down WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and the iOS Outlook and Gmail apps.
If you’ve opened the black dot of death text and are now spiraling because you think all hope is lost and you’ll never be able to text again — we have good-ish news. There is actually a way to cure certain iPhone models of black-dot paralyzation.
But there’s also some bad news. Those who received the black dot bug on their iPhone SE models are doomed and we recommend cutting your prankster friends out of your life.
YouTube user EverythingApplePro, who is actually the evil mastermind behind the bug, revealed the one way to resolve the chaos. It requires using the 3D Touch feature available on newer iPhones. You can simply use 3D Touch on your iMessage app, tap “New Message,” and the app will return to its working state.
Be a dear and don’t follow the bug link EverythingApplePro provides you with. It’s just not nice to mess with your friends’ very expensive technology.
Spread the word — beware the black dot. If you see your friend sending you a cryptic message with the black dot emoji, delete it before opening. Then, perhaps block them and throw away that nice birthday card you were going to send them. They don’t deserve your love.