It was as inevitable as sunrise.

Elon Musk, the right-wing billionaire who flirts dangerously with extremism and conspiracy theories, took over Twitter promising that he was a champion of free speech. Now Musk is banning journalists he doesn’t like from his platform.

This morning, though, it was Scotland’s turn for a taste of censorship. Many Twitter subscribers are now talking about moving to Mastodon, the alternative social media platform, so sick are they of Musk’s behaviour. Mastodon’s Scottish arm is called ‘’. On Friday morning, anyone who posted those words was told that the tweet wouldn’t be published as “this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful”. Twitter calling another site harmful is the very definition of pot and kettle.

Read more from Neil Mackay at Herald Scotland

How do I know this censorship is happening? Well, after reading reports that Twitter was preventing users posting links to Mastadon, I simply tried tweeting the words ‘’ and was censored.

Why did Musk censor Scotland? Clearly, he wants to shut down rival sites, and doesn’t care if he smothers free speech around the world.

Earlier, Musk suspended the accounts of a series of American reporters, including writers from The New York Times and Washington Post. They’d been covering stories related to Musk banning a Twitter user who shared details about his private jet. So just reporting on matters which Musk doesn’t like gets journalists banned.

When Musk was pulled up in an online discussion forum for lying about the reasons for his attack on journalism, he simply left the meeting. He tried to claim the reporters were sneakily doxxing him - or releasing his personal details. They weren’t. They were covering a story.

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