Fun iOS Safari Bug Lets You Trick Your Friends With Fake Website Headlines

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    You may or may not know this, but there's a feature in Safari that's designed to let you select a portion of text and send it to a friend over Messages using the Share feature in Safari.

    When researching one of our tips videos, we came across this handy trick, but soon discovered that there's another aspect to it -- one that you can use to create fake website headlines that can be sent to your friends and family.

    As it turns out, there's a bug in the select text and share feature, and it involves the search function on websites. If you type text into the search bar on a website, highlight it, and then share it with the Safari Share Sheet, it will send your written text along with a website link that looks rather official. See the screenshot below:


    Here are the specific steps to follow to create a fake website title:

    1. Go to a website with a search function, such as
    2. Make sure your iPhone is in landscape mode.
    3. Tap on the search bar.
    4. Enter your text and then select it.
    5. Tap on the Share icon next to the address bar.
    6. Select Messages and then type in the name of the person who you want to prank.

    From there, the person will see the fake website header that you created, but it will look like text from the website itself because the text isn't sent separately due to the rich text feature in Messages.

    This pretty much only works iPhone to iPhone and won't work if you're sending messages to your friends on Android devices. You can use this trick on the iPad too, but it doesn't work on the Mac.

    If you want to use the feature as Apple intended you to do, you can select a bit of text on a website and then send it to a friend to highlight something specific that's worth pointing out. Like in our AirPods roundup, if you wanted to highlight the bit about a new color, you could select it and share the page with this text visible in the link.

    It's actually a useful feature that's great for pointing out specific passages in blogs, news articles, and more.

    We're pretty sure selecting search text through this feature and sending it over Messages is a bug that Apple will fix at some point, but in the meantime you can have a bit of fun with it and send unique website headlines to friends and family.

    Article Link: Fun iOS Safari Bug Lets You Trick Your Friends With Fake Website Headlines
  2. AngerDanger, Feb 21, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    Oh my god, you actually took my advice* with the bug exploit video thumbnail! That's awesome! :D It's got a red arrow, emoji, and it's perfect!

  3. abrantes09 macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2019
    Fantastic, more fake news! At least its gonna be funnier this time :p
  4. calzon65 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Hilarious … I can see all the crazy fake headlines now "Missiles inbound for Hawaii, Take Shelter, Not a Drill" … oh wait, our government's early warning system already does that ...
  5. nattK macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    The City of Brotherly Love
  6. IamTimCook macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2016

    Apple hired new R&D testers. The new group of tester seem to actually exercise outdoors. New batch of tester ran several miles outdoors testing the newest version of Airpods, slated to be released sometime this quarter, and decided to scrape the current design model for an in-ear design. Airpods will be delayed another year.

    "While exercising on a windy day the Airpods have to be cranked up to maximum to counter the wind noise while jogging" -Unnamed R&D tester
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah, I wouldn’t open with that one. Maybe stick to the quips about airline food to ease the crowd in.
  8. notabadname macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2010
    Detroit Suburbs
  9. toddwickman macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2019
    Jersey City
    Really, MacRumors?!? Since when is propagating fake headlines "fun" or positive in any way...this story is ridiculous and is a disservice to anyone who actually values the truth.
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It’s a foolproof plan! Unless the user does something stupid, like, say, follow the link and realise it’s a joke.

    But if people who “value the truth” take a clickbait headline at face value without investigating further, I think that reflects worse on their values than it does an innocent prank.
  11. rs0212 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2014
    Doesn't work on iPhone SE (there is no share button in the address bar).
  12. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    If you are in portrait, and hit done on the keyboard... the text deselects, but it can still work if you share then. It just doesn't always work that way, whereas it does work consistently in landscape.
  13. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hold it in landscape :)

    EDIT: dammit arn, your first post in months and you have to inb4 me
  14. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    Oh this is too much fun. Nobody file a Radar!
  15. ipedro macrumors 601


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Update: he later edited the post to add a GIF he spent an hour working on after originally posting to save his spot early in the thread.
  16. AppleMad98004 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2011
    Cylde Hill, WA
    Fox New, the New York Times and others do this all the time.... Why can't I? :rolleyes:
  17. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
  18. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2017
    It's all fun and games until someone makes it into a phishing campaign.
  19. izyreal macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    I love this! Everybody in my family is getting the news they most want (or don't want) to hear!
  20. DamFu macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2007
  21. chrismac2 macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Just scared someone with "Apple board fires Tim Cook"
  22. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Thanks. However, I’m not 13 years I’ll pass on this “fun”.
  23. rtdunham macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
    I’m holding my iPhone XS in landscape but the highlighted (selected) text I’ve entered de-selects when I hit the share button. Any hints?
  24. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Try to send anyway? It doesn’t seem to matter.

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