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Glitch in Apple's iMessage deletes words 'Obama,' 'surprise'

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
A strange issue with Apple's iMessage service deletes certain words when they are used at the end of specific sentences, with two cases already found pertaining to the words "Obama" and "surprise".

Glitch


Using iMessage to send the text "I could be the next Obama " with a trailing space after the last word results in a blank spot where the U.S. president's last name should be, as noted on Friday by The Verge. The same issue applies to the message "The best prize is a surprise ".

When sent from one iPhone to another, the text will show up blank on both users' screens. If the message is sent from a Mac using iMessage, the words "Obama" and "surprise" remain visible in OS X, but are invisible on the iPhone.

The two discovered, affected words appear visible until the "Send" button is hit. And the recipient will see the message in its entirety from their lock screen, only to have the word disappear once the iOS Messages application is opened.

Users can also copy and paste the message in order to see the missing word. It only disappears once it has been sent as an iMessage to another iPhone user.

Apple's OS X platform was affected by a similarly strange bug that would cause most Mac applications to crash by simply entering entering a certain combination of keystrokes. The crash, which was later fixed, could be accomplished by entering "File:///", with an uppercase 'F', into a standard text input space.
post #2 of 28
Ha! Apple shares to fall again!?
post #3 of 28
Just tried it. Doesn't happen to me.
post #4 of 28

I wish I knew how the programming logic would work to even cause an error like that... some sort of mistake in censoring logic that's inconsistent in different areas of the program, maybe?

post #5 of 28
Clearly Apple is pandering to it's republican base
/snark
post #6 of 28

what the very ****?

post #7 of 28
I wish I could say this was a , but I can't. I try and I just can't!
post #8 of 28
So if you type "surprise" by itself does iMessage deliver an empty message? Because that would be weird.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 28

Maybe unrelated but my bro recently sent me a pic using iMessage. It appeared in my lock screen. I swiped to get to iMessage to reply but the pic disappeared. I told him about it and he resent and it didn't disappear the second time. Odd but now that I see this report I think maybe it's not isolated.

post #10 of 28
This could be the next BS.

Edit: Although I sent it from a Mac to an iPhone using the Messages client.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by appletouches View Post

Ha! Apple shares to fall again!?

 

Apple shares to rise!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #12 of 28
1) Why are there so many weird issues with iMessage.

2) Have they fixed the bug that results in iDevices seeing formatted hyperlinks as plaintext when sent from a Mac?

3) This reminds of this line in Blackadder Goes Forth: George on being a lawyer, "I'm a complete duffer at this sort of thing. In the School Debating Society I was voted 'boy least likely to complete a coherent…erm'."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So if you type "surprise" by itself does iMessage deliver an empty message? Because that would be weird.

SURPRISE

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #13 of 28
Confirmed it on my iPhone 4S running iOS 6.1.3.

Maybe it was going to be a linking thing where they sent you to sponsor/Wikipedia/search page for certain terms?
post #14 of 28

Good move by Apple.  I don't think anyone would want to be the next Obama.  1biggrin.gif

post #15 of 28
post #16 of 28
Seems more plausible the servers handling IMs have daemons running on those services injecting and deleting random strings and/or image instance uploads.
post #17 of 28
"...by simply entering entering a..."

Typos in stories here are not a surprise.
post #18 of 28
First, you have to use your iPhone to see the message, not your Mac. I didn't try iPad but I believe it won't work neither. And I will tell you why.

Second, you must add a space to the end of the sentence.

It's a bug, not censorship. It happens when the sentence is of a certain width (at pixel level accuracy) and the last word is of a certain width. The last word disappears, because iOS decides it should wrap to the next line, but for some reason fails to display the second line.

You can verify this by reordering the words (except for the last) and letters. For example, "I could be the next Obama " -> "be I eht dlouc netx maabO ". The last word "maabO" will disappear. You can even try "I bama be the next Ocould ". Don't forget the space at the end.
post #19 of 28

confirmed it's a bug related somehow to line/character length, not at all related to the contents of the words themselves...

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by leizhao4 View Post

First, you have to use your iPhone to see the message, not your Mac. I didn't try iPad but I believe it won't work neither. And I will tell you why.

Second, you must add a space to the end of the sentence.

It's a bug, not censorship. It happens when the sentence is of a certain width (at pixel level accuracy) and the last word is of a certain width. The last word disappears, because iOS decides it should wrap to the next line, but for some reason fails to display the second line.

You can verify this by reordering the words (except for the last) and letters. For example, "I could be the next Obama " -> "be I eht dlouc netx maabO ". The last word "maabO" will disappear. You can even try "I bama be the next Ocould ". Don't forget the space at the end.

Well done. The best first post I've ever read.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

I wish I knew how the programming logic would work to even cause an error like that... some sort of mistake in censoring logic that's inconsistent in different areas of the program, maybe?

 

It's not censoring or filtering words, it's a text measurement bug.

 

The last word of the sentence is being wrapped to the next line, but the bubble is only tall enough to display a single line.  That will happen if the programmer uses different metrics to calculate the size of the bubble vs. the actual text rendering because of differing fonts or differing margins.  It's probably only off by one pixel, which means you'll only see the problem with very specific sentences that are an exactly width.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by leizhao4 View Post

It's a bug, not censorship. It happens when the sentence is of a certain width (at pixel level accuracy) and the last word is of a certain width. The last word disappears, because iOS decides it should wrap to the next line, but for some reason fails to display the second line.

You can verify this by reordering the words (except for the last) and letters. For example, "I could be the next Obama " -> "be I eht dlouc netx maabO ". The last word "maabO" will disappear. You can even try "I bama be the next Ocould ". Don't forget the space at the end.

Great post. Thanks for investigating. I've seen bugs like that on many operating systems.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So if you type "surprise" by itself does iMessage deliver an empty message? Because that would be weird.

What part 'in specific sentences' didn't you understand?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #24 of 28

 

...me.

 

(Sorry, message got cut off)


Edited by GTR - 4/26/13 at 10:03pm
If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
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If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
Reply
post #25 of 28
Wrap-gate
post #26 of 28
It is a text entry issue to do with length in the text and possibly based on word wrap. This assumption is based on the fact that the issue happens in portrait rotation, but not in landscape rotation.
post #27 of 28
Also, if you select the "censored" text and hit copy and paste it elsewhere, the entire message will paste. So the content is still there, just not displaying.
post #28 of 28

Try typing "I just cant stop thinking of myself as such a dumbass " Be sure to put a space after dumbass and see what happens.. IT DISSAPEARS TOO!! I think these disappearing words make some kind of secret message but that's just my opinion.

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