Apple fixes iPhone crash bug whenever Taiwan was mentioned

Stripped Taiwanese Flag

Security researcher Patrick Wardle told Wired that the flaw was a censorship function made by Apple that occasionally read the Taiwan emoji as an "invalid input", causing the app it was sent over to shut down.

After two+ years of being unable to type "Taiwan" or being remotely DOS'd anytime her phone received an Taiwanese flag emoji, the fix (kudos to my friend Josh S. for the idea!), was simply to toggle the region from USA to China, then back to US.

Wardle was alerted to the bug by a Taiwanese friend who complained that her iPhone messaging apps would crash when she tried to type Taiwan.

Having just released iOS 11.4.1 to the masses, Apple's focus was very much focused on squashing bugs rather than rolling out new features.

Wardle informed Apple about the bug and helped the company fix it, which Apple noted in a security update on Monday. And given the relationship China has with Taiwan, the company might be appeasing the Chinese government with its flag blockade.

China regards Taiwan as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland, despite the island essentially achieving independence in 1950. That code likely represents a favour from Apple to the Chinese government, which for the last 70 years has maintained that Taiwan is a part of China and has no legitimate independent government.

More news: 3rd mission underway at Thai cave, aims to rescue all left

This is not the first time USA company has made diplomatic changes to its devices on behalf of the Chinese government.

Ultimately, the researcher found an error in emoji suppression logic that may have been included at the behest of the Chinese government, given the country's claim that Taiwan is a territory of China rather than it being an autonomous entity. While Apple hasn't commented on the case, this isn't the first time it has caved to China's requests.

It also removed some Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) from the App Store in China.

More than a third of British adults believe emojis are the reason for the deterioration in proper language usage, according to the study commissioned by the Google-owned site YouTube.

Furthermore, around three-quarters of adults rely on emoji to communicate, in addition to a dependence on predictive text and spell checking.

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