Apple is making changes to iOS 16 that could backfire on victims of sexual harassment
As announced at WWDC earlier this month, exciting changes are coming to the iMessages feature in iOS 16. Users will be able to edit messages, “unsend” messages, and even have messages “unread.” And while these are features that iPhone users have yearned for, they could backfire. Several Twitter users spoke out about how, by allowing iPhone users to edit, “unsend,” and “unread” iMessages, relationships including marriages, could crumble.
During the 15 minutes, the bad actor could edit the message several times. In her letter, Simpson Tuegel wrote, “It is not uncommon for abusers in these types of situations to deny they even sent abusive messages at all, using their victim’s trauma to “gaslight” them into no longer believing they have been victimized.”
There is plenty of time before iOS 16 is released for Apple to make some changes One solution suggested by Simpson Tuegel is to reduce the time frame given users to edit and delete their messages from 15 minutes to two minutes. This would make it unclear in the mind of the bad actor that he will be able to make the necessary deletions in time without getting caught.
Michelle Simpson Tuegel writes to Tim Cook asking him to make the necessary changes to protect victims of sexual abuse
When the sender of a message edits or “unsends” a message, users are informed. But they are not told what the message actually said before the deletion or the edit of the message. And those iPhone users not running iOS 16 will be able to see the original message.
The letter from the attorney ended by saying, “Apple is a leader in the technology industry, and the rollout of these new iMessage features provides the company an opportunity to lead by example and influence how other messaging platforms should protect their users from harassment and abuse .”
Michelle Simpson Tuegel has appealed to Tim Cook to make the changes needed to toughen up the new features. “While I do not believe Apple is purposefully seeking to engage in any harm by the announcement of its new iMessage feature,” she writes, “I hope you will take these concerns seriously to ensure the rights of victims and survivors are respected and accounted for .”