Press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found a loophole to overcome the harsh censorship by building ‘The Uncensored Library’ in one of the world’s most successful computer games. The library is now accessible on an open server for Minecraft players around the globe and the censored articles are available within the game hidden from government surveillance technology.
The books and articles can be read by everyone on the server but their content cannot be manipulated and more books are being added to it to overcome censorship. Christian Mihr, Managing Director Reporters Without Borders Germany, said that young people, in many countries, grow up without being able to form their own opinions due to the state-controlled press and ban on independent newspapers.
“By using Minecraft, the world’s most popular computer game, as a medium, we give them access to independent information,” said Mihr in a statement.
On March 12, the Uncensored Library opened up for young people around the world to access independent information. Reporters Without Borders are running the campaign under the hashtag #TruthFindsAWay.
“The Uncensored Library is a bold use of Minecraft. It really encapsulates everything that is great about this game and the community it has created,” said James Delaney, Managing Director BlockWorks, Architect of the Uncensored Library.
The press freedom NGO said that journalists from five different countries including Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia will now have a place to make their voices heard again. The journalists include The Wahington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul In December 2019. Saudi Arabia court convicted eight people in the killing of The Washington Post columnist but exonerated inner circle of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Another journalist whose article will be available in the computer game is Yulia Berezovskaia, editor in chief of one of Russia’s many blocked websites. She is collaborating with the Uncensored Library to republish articles from grani.ru, a news source for protest activities, politically motivated trials and civil society activism.