WhatsApp Revoke Protection is Added to Android Beta to Curb Exploitation

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The most user-friendly messaging app, Whatsapp, has got another cool feature with a recent beta (version 2.18.69) update to WhatsApp for Android. The developers have extended the limit to delete messages for everyone. The Facebook-owned 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.

Some users have already taken advantage of the ‘Delete for Everyone feature via modded versions of the app to delete messages dating back to three years. So when WhatsApp introduced the Delete for Everyone feature in November 2017, the recipient understood that a message had been deleted as there was a prompt in its place with the “This message has been deleted” tag.

Now, WhatsApp has silently and skillfully added another feature called ‘Block revoke request’ in order to stop users from exploiting the ‘Delete for Everyone feature. It has been reported that the feature works by sending a message to the recipient whenever the sender tries to delete a message for everyone. This message has the same ID as the one the user wants to delete.

WhatsApp then finds a message in the database with the same ID and matches it with the message requested to be revoked by the sender. After this, it checks the date-related information of the message saved in the database. This message has the same ID as the message that the user wants to revoke. The algorithm has been improved to perform the delete operation only if the current date is less than 24 hours from the date of the saved message. This ensures that nobody can tamper with the feature to delete messages for everyone. So in group chats, everyone can get a revoke request.

WhatsApp has decided to stick to 24 hours as the reference period here to ensure ample time for the recipient or recipients in case of a group chat to receive the revoke request. WhatsApp revokes protection update is also a step to curb the exploitation of the feature for those who found the platform useful.

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