Here's how it works: when you copy the whole, exact text message above and send it to an iPhone user, the receiver's phone will automatically shut down and restart. Some users have reported that they were not able to access their messages until the initial sender sent another text message to release this strange lock.
This is not the first time Apple has dealt with a bug. Most bugs in the past have been fixed as soon as it came to the company's attention, so this messaging bug should be no issue.
Since it is such a specific text that no one would accidentally send to someone, there really is no threat to this bug unless someone decides to use it for spiteful intentions.
Many iPhone users have found this rather amusing; some use it as a practical joke:
when someone sends me the text that shuts off my phone pic.twitter.com/8hUGEyqsMa— ?hr?s??a? (@christian_tayyy) May 27, 2015
if you're worried that bae's texting other girls, just send them the text that shuts their phone off every minute ???? you're welcome— lace (@laceyywright) May 27, 2015
While others take the issue much more seriously:
IF ONE MORE PERSON SENDS ME THAT TEXT AND MY PHONE SHUTS OFF IM GONNA FLIP OUT— Hailey Griffin (@skinnyxminnyx0) May 27, 2015
STOP SENDING THAT TEXT IT BROKE MY PHONE I CANT GET INTO MY MESSAGES ANYMORE— ?hr?s??a? (@christian_tayyy) May 27, 2015
"We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update," reported an Apple spokesman for The Guardian.