An old hoax claiming Apple is removing a popular private messaging app from iPhones has again started to circulate on social media.
A Facebook post published Jan. 28 claims Telegram “announced that Apple will remove” the app from the company’s phones.
“Telegram announced that to prevent this, apply the mentioned settings,” the post reads.
The text is accompanied by screenshots that purportedly guide Telegram users on how to make sure the app isn’t deleted.
There have been other variations of this claim, with some Facebook users saying Apple announced it will be removing Telegram from iPhones.
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But spokespeople from both companies told USA TODAY this claim is inaccurate. Apple is not removing the messaging app from iPhones. 
USA TODAY reached out to social media users who shared the post for comment. 
The rumor in the social media posts appears to stem from a lawsuit filed Jan. 17 by Marc Ginsberg, president of Coalition for a Safer Web, a nonprofit that aims to remove extremist speech from social media.
The nonprofit sued Apple, demanding it remove Telegram from its App Store for failing to crack down on violent conversation in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the Washington Post.
However, Apple has not removed the app from its App Store. Officials from both companies said the claims on social media are baseless.
“The claim is false,” Remi Vaughn, a spokesperson for Telegram, told USA TODAY in a direct message.
In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, a spokesperson for Apple also said the claim is false.
Apps in the company’s App Store must comply with the App Store Review Guidelines. If Apple finds an app violates the rules, it will notify the developer and work with them to address the issue. In some cases, Apple will remove the app from its store.
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When an app is removed, customers who have previously downloaded the app will continue to have access to it so long as they don’t delete it themselves, the Apple spokesperson told USA TODAY.
The screenshots in the Facebook posts show the iOS Screen Time Content & Privacy Restrictions settings, according to the Apple Support website. These settings are for managing personal device usage.  
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Apple is removing the Telegram messaging app from iPhones. Spokespeople from both companies said Apple is not removing the Telegram app from iPhones.
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