Thanks to scum-of-the-internet 4chan, we’ve all been hearing lately about a particular iOS bug that will brick modern iPhones, if you set the date back to 1/1/1970. Why does that happen? YouTuber Tom Scott explains.
Scott gives a quick lesson in Unix time to explain why he thinks the bricking happens: for your iPhone, time is displayed as one single integer, representing the number of seconds since 1970. If you set the time back to Jan 1st, 1970, that value becomes 0—not a problem in and of itself, but if the phone tries to display a time before that, say a text you received a few hours ago, it will generate a negative number, which causes a crash.