WhatsApp introduced new Block revoke request feature in order to stop users from exploiting the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature through modified versions of the app, which allowed some users to delete messages sent as long as three years back.
WhatsApp introduced new Block revoke request feature
With the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.18.69 version, WhatsApp recently increased the time limit to delete messages for everyone to 4,096 seconds or 68 minutes and 16 seconds. The messaging platform increased the limit from 420 seconds or seven minutes as part of WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.69. This change was also applied to recent WhatsApp for iOS and Windows Phone updates.
However, many Android users, through unauthorized WhatsApp versions could delete WhatsApp message as old as 3 years. But the chat app has put an end to this now. As WhatsApp has silently added another feature called Block revoke request in order to stop users from exploiting the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature.
How the feature ‘Delete for Everyone’ misused?
The reason why some of the users were able to delete 3 years old message through some tricks was because WhatsApp did not check any other important information other than the ID of the message and the revoke request. When the recipient received this particular message contained the revoke request, WhatsApp checked if the ID of the message was present in the database and directly deleted it.
How the Block revoke request feature works as a safeguard?
# WhatsApp has also silently added something else to improve the Delete for Everyone feature in a few precedent updates. In order to stop these bad users, WhatsApp has implemented a Block revoke request feature.
# This is how the safeguard feature works. When the user deletes a message for everyone, WhatsApp sends a new message to the recipient. This message has the same ID of the message that the user wants to revoke. WhatsApp then finds a message in the database having the same ID of the received revoke request and checks the date related information of the message saved in the database.
# Previously, when the recipient received this particular message contained the revoke request, the app checked if the ID of the message was present in the database, if the original message was found, WhatsApp directly deleted it without checking any other important information.
# This algorithm has been recently improved to perform the delete operation only if WhatsApp finds a message in the database having the same ID of the received revoke message request, it checks the data of the message saved in the database, performing an operation: if (current date) – (the date of the saved message) is less than 24 hours, WhatsApp can successfully delete the message.
# Adding this new operation, the recipient is sure that nobody can illegally delete messages for everyone.
Why has WhatsApp decided to choose 24 hours as time reference?
WhatsApp has decided to choose 24 hours as time reference because a user can delete a message for everyone and the recipient’s phone might be turned off at that moment.
Choosing 24 hours, WhatsApp is sure that the recipient will surely receive the revoke request (seen that hardly a user doesn’t turn on his device within 24 hours), but this also means that:
• If the recipient won’t turn on his phone within 24 hours, the revoke request will be considered invalid, also if the message was correctly deleted for everyone within 1 hours 8 minutes and 16 seconds but, as above mentioned, this is an unusual situation.
• All users that are currently using modified and unauthorized WhatsApp versions can successfully continue to delete messages for everyone within 24 hours.
The WhatsApp new feature Block revoke request is a step to curb exploitation of a feature that was deemed useful by those using the platform.