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165-year-old Iowa newspaper reinstated on Twitter after unexplained “permanent ban”

Northern Iowa’s Globe Gazette celebrated being back on Twitter Friday after a “permanent” ban imposed earlier in the week was lifted around 1:30 p.m. local time.

“AND WE’RE BACKKKKK!!!!” news editor Lisa Grouette tweeted.

The mysterious suspension of the news outlet — which began operations in 1858 — got the attention of other Iowa publications, including the Des Moines Register, which spoke to Grouette Thursday.

“Digital content is something we’re very proud of and it’s super frustrating not to be able to get that product out,” she said. “It could cost us subscribers.”

According to Grouette, once her company’s Twitter page was reinstated, it was restored without the publication’s 6,000 followers. She tweeted from her personal account she’d been assured those followers would also return.

Grouette claimed she struggled to get answers after noticing the paper’s account was out of commission Tuesday, but she was later informed by Twitter the suspension was a “mistake.”

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Local TV stations KTVO and CBS 2 covered the Globe Gazette’s Twitter dilemma, which also got the attention of the business publication Forbes.

“THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RALLYING ALONG WITH ME!!” Grouette tweeted to everyone who supported her efforts to get back onto the social media platform purchased for $44 billion by right-wing entrepreneur Elon Musk in October.

Musk is often critical of mainstream news outlets. His Twitter takeover has included massive layoffs and occasional technical issues.

Readers tweeted to The Globe, as it’s known locally, asking if Twitter offered any explanation for the suspension.

“I just wish their appeals process were more comprehensive so you can see what the issue might be,” Grouette explained. “I’m glad we’re back, though.”

The Globe Gazette is published daily by Lee Enterprises in Mason City, Iowa. The 1957 Broadway hit “The Music Man” was written by Mason City native Meredith Willson, who modeled the musical’s fictional setting of River City after his hometown.

According to Grouette, Globe Gazette has tried repeatedly to get verified by Twitter to no avail. Musk introduced a program in February allowing users to pay an $8 monthly fee for a blue check mark indicating verification. He has toyed with other ideas to confirm the authenticity of Twitter users.

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