Reporters Without Borders creates library in Minecraft game to defeat censorship

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The press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found a loophole to overcome severe censorship by building “The Uncensored Library” into one of the world’s most popular computer games. The library is now accessible on an open server for Minecraft players around the world, and censored items are available in-game, hidden from government surveillance technology.

The books and articles can be read by anyone on the server, but their content cannot be manipulated and other books are added to them to overcome censorship. Christian Mihr, managing director of Reporters Without Borders Germany, said young people in many countries are growing up unable to form their own opinions because of the state-controlled press and the ban on independent newspapers.

“By using Minecraft, the world’s most popular computer game, as a medium, we are giving them access to independent information,” Mihr said in a statement.

On March 12, the uncensored library opened its doors to young people around the world to access independent information. Reporters Without Borders is running the campaign under the hashtag #TruthFindsAWay.

“The Uncensored Library is a bold use of Minecraft. It really sums up everything great about this game and the community it has created, ”said James Delaney, CEO of BlockWorks, Architect of the Uncensored Library.

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Khashoggi’s work

The press freedom NGO said journalists from five different countries, including Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia, will now have a place to make their voices heard again. Journalists include Wahington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi who was assassinated and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in December 2019. A Saudi Arabian court has convicted eight people for the murder of the Washington Post columnist, but has exonerated the inner circle of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

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Another journalist whose article will be available in the video game is Yulia Berezovskaia, editor-in-chief of one of the many blocked sites in Russia. She collaborates with the Uncensored Library to republish articles from grani.ru, a source of information on protest activity, politically motivated trials and civil society activism.

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