WhatsApp introduced the Delete For Everyone feature end of last month. The feature allows you to delete messages you have already sent and have them removed from the recipient’s phone. The message is replaced with a message which says ‘This message was deleted.’ If you send a message you regret you however have only 7 minutes to delete it.
Just yesterday we looked at how one can still get to see messages that have been deleted for everyone. The method we looked at is only available for Android users running Android 6.0 and up. Today we look at one that works for everyone on every platform.
You know that feature on WhatsApp where you can reply to a specific message and it is mentioned, that’s what’s meant by quoting. If a message has been quoted and you delete it for everyone, the quoted message is not deleted from the reply. This works in both group and individual chats.
In the screenshot the quoted message is the one that was deleted and yet a good portion of the message is still visible.
When a message is quoted only the first 35 or so words are shown as you can see in the screenshot above. It is only those 35 words that will still be visible. So you might want to write 35 words of utter gibberish before you get to your message if you don’t want your message immortalised in a quote.
If the message you sent is forwarded to someone else that is as good as a screenshot. When someone forwards your message, WhatsApp essentially lets them copy the text and then send it as if they wrote it themselves. The forwarded message will stay in all its glory even after you delete it for everyone.
If you delete an image after it has been quoted what will remain is a small thumbnail. If people squint real hard they can still make out what the image was. If someone with a phone with a 4K screen is determined enough they can then screenshot the page and blow up the image and it would be as good as it was never deleted. If it had been forwarded then that’s another story, it will still be there somewhere.
You will be pleased to hear that once an audio or video file has been deleted for everyone it is gone for good. When such a media file is quoted the quotation refers whoever clicks on it back to the original file and if that one has been deleted then that’s that. Again, forwarded files are not deleted.
Looking at all this you probably should not worry because since you only have 7 minutes to delete a message, if you managed to delete within moments of sending, chances are it would not have been quoted or forwarded yet.