IT would be hard to find a better example of how the new elites act as the gatekeepers of the truth than to look at how Facebook attempts to control public debate.

Last week I had a notice sent to my Facebook account explaining, “We have removed a post with false information about Covid-19”. Apparently, Facebook don’t want, “false information that can cause physical harm” littering their site. This includes, “information that recognized health organizations say could mislead people”.

I tried to find out what the post was that I had commented on but of course it’s gone, so I have no idea what it was. What made this notice all the more peculiar was that, “The false information appeared in a photo”. I’ve wracked my brain to try and think about what this could be and how a photograph could be so dangerous. I’ve no idea.

A week earlier Facebook announced that it would no longer ban posts that claimed Covid might be a man-made virus. This came on the same day that President Joe Biden announced that the American government was reopening the file on Wuhan and the claim by some that Covid was made in a lab in China.

READ MORE: Masks do little but encourage an overblown sense of anxiety. Opinion: Stuart Waiton

So, for the last four months the idea pushed by Donald Trump that Covid was Made in China has been banned from Facebook but now that the right-thinking Joe Biden has given the nod to this idea, we’re allowed to discuss it again.

What was a clear threat, something that could cause “physical harm” has overnight become acceptable to read, think and talk about. Thanks, Facebook.

The “progressive” and “liberal” Facebook bosses have, of course, been censoring all sorts of information about Covid-19. They even banned the lockdown sceptical Barrington Declaration which was signed by thousands of scientists.

So, rather than Facebook acting as part of the free and open society that internet pioneers dreamt of, where the public could discuss what they wanted without the filter of the mass media, governments and powerful organisations, it turns out that it is now one of and, arguably, the most powerful censor of public information.

The Chinese Communist dictators were no doubt delighted by the Californian billionaires’ support in clamping down on this heinous, dangerous debate.

Meanwhile, back here in the Land of the Unfree, as reported by The Herald, we find our own government is using the language and resources of anti-terrorism to clamp down on schoolchildren discussing dodgy Covid ideas.

READ MORE: Trump and Twitter: Worrying times for all who care about free speech

Using the tag of preventing “extremist” information, and the “radicalisation” of pupils, Education Scotland has instructed teachers to watch out for Covid conspiracists in schools. Shock horror, it seems that some people want to put out information that involves, “an ‘alternative’ explanation for an event or situation to those provided by governments and international bodies”.

One wonders if these trusted governments would have included the Trump government, or is it only right-thinking governments like that of the “progressive” Mr Biden that count?

Once again, we find the language of vulnerability is used as a basis for clamping down on non-government proscribed information, with talk of, “concerns about the welfare of vulnerable children and young people”, who clearly need to be protected from ideas that don’t have the stamp of state approval.

As a spokesperson for the pressure group Us for Them Scotland pointed out, “There used to be a time in Scottish education when children were encouraged to think for themselves and treat government messages with a healthy scepticism”. Not now.

Today the new elites in Silicon Valley and Holyrood allow only one hymn sheet, the one they have written, and they are prepared to use the most extreme of initiatives and language to ensure we are all safe.

Which begs the question, who are the extremists today and who is the real threat to public life both in Scotland and around the supposedly “free world”?

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