Safari browser used to share fake news headlines
Safari browser used to share fake news headlines

With the link sharing feature in the iOS version of Apple Safari, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users can edit the address while sharing specific webpages.

One researcher feared that this feature could be misused to spread fake news.

When browsing the Internet (such as messages in the Safari web browser on iPhone or iPad), users can select and share parts of a page instead of the entire page.

However, the summary text can also come from an input text field that the user can control and edit.

When sharing a page overview with other iPhone users via iMessage, the link preview generated contains the shared text value itself instead of the page's original title.

In other words, users can type a random text value into a news site's search bar field and then share that text value through iMessage.

Also, previewing the link generated by iMessage gives the false impression that the user generated text is the physical title of the page.

This behavior can especially be reproduced when placing the Apple device horizontally and sharing the link with iPhone users via iMessage.

Therefore, sharing content from iPhone to Android in this way will not cause this phenomenon.

There are legitimate use cases for this feature, so it's helpful to cite specific passages in blog posts and news articles.

Intego chief security analyst Josh Long thinks improper use of the misinformation feature could have an even bigger impact.

This is explained in detail in the article: Currently, nothing is preventing users from entering misleading headlines or other misleading text in the field and inserting them into the page preview.

Additionally, all iMessage users should remain vigilant as this loophole can be used to induce financial investors to buy or sell stocks based on fake stocks.

The results of this issue were announced in early 2019, but Apple's latest iOS devices are still enabling this feature.

Previous Post Next Post