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Check out the awesome Minecraft library that was created to fight censorship around the world

"The digital home of press freedom" was developed by Reporters Without Borders to publish banned articles.

Check out the awesome Minecraft library that was created to fight censorship around the world
Image Source: uncensoredlibrary.com

Censorship has posed a major threat to freedom of speech and expression across the world. While those rights are not absolute, governments have used censorship laws to restrict access to important information and quash dissent. Reporters Without Borders decided to take a stand against this. The talented group came together to create a stunning library on the computer game Minecraft. The virtual library now houses articles that were censored in their country of origin. Since these articles are stored within Minecraft, they are hidden from government surveillance technology. The information can be read by everyone on the Minecraft server, but the contents within the articles cannot be changed.

 



 

 

Reporters Without Borders is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that safeguards the right to freedom of information across the world. The group fights against governments that threaten journalists by banning, jailing, and executing them. The new virtual library is a way for the group to reach people in countries where their message is banned or censored. It opened its doors on March 12 in order to mark the occasion of World Day Against Cyber Censorship. Using the hashtag #TruthFindsAWay, the group encouraged folks online to share their thoughts and spread the message about their anti-censorship efforts.

 



 

 

With the opening of this Minecraft library, journalists who have been silenced in five different countries—Egypt, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam—now have the opportunity to finally be heard. Representatives of the project explained, "Their articles have now been republished as Minecraft books in English and the articles’ original language and are available in countries that censored their works." Reporters Without Borders collaborated with the group BlockWorks to create this virtual architectural feat. Just like a real library, its build is intricate and detailed. It is rather unbelievable that it is only digitally rendered and not a "real" building.

 



 

 

"The library was built over three months and is made from over 12.5 million blocks," a representative shared. "It took 24 builders from 16 different countries over 250 hours to design and create the library. The library’s main dome is nearly 300 meters wide, which would make it the second-largest in the world." The group chose Minecraft as the platform is popular with younger generations. Despite it being over a decade old, over 10 million people continue to play the computer game. They stated, "Part of Minecraft’s gameplay is gathering and crafting items, such as books. Minecraft books have 100 pages and can be written freely. Other players can read them but cannot change the content of the books on the server."

 



 

 

In addition to granting access to censored materials, the project also brings attention to an incredibly serious issue. Reporters Without Borders explained, "In 2019 alone, 39 journalists and 10 citizen journalists got killed and currently there are 228 journalists and 120 citizen journalists imprisoned. These are alarming numbers. At the turn of the 21st century, nearly half of the world population still lacks access to free information. Deprived of essential knowledge and manipulated by disinformation, they are prevented from living in a political system in which factual truth serves as the basis for their life choices." You can check out the group's website here and visit the library here.

 



 

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