The Uncensored Library is a Minecraft server and map released by Reporters without Borders and created by BlockWorks, DDB Berlin, and MediaMonks as an attempt to circumvent censorship in countries without freedom of the press. The library houses banned news articles from the five countries ranked low on the World Press Freedom Index. The library contains banned reporting from Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. An entire wing is given to each country, each containing several banned articles. The library was released on March 12, 2020, the World Day Against Cyber Censorship. Currently, the two ways to access the library are to download a map from the official website, or to connect to their Minecraft server.
|Developer(s)||Berlin DDB, BlockWorks, MediaMonks, Reporters Without Borders[a]|
|Initial release||March 12, 2020|
|Type||Minecraft server & map|
The library is a large scale project built using a neoclassical architectural style. It is intended to resemble well-established institutions such as the New York Public Library, as well as stylistically allude to the authoritarian structures the project aims to subvert. The project was built by BlockWorks with twenty-four builders from sixteen different countries. The library uses over 12.5 million Minecraft blocks.
Each of the five countries covered by the library, as well as Reporters without Borders, has an individual wing, containing a number of articles, available in English and the original language the article was written in. The texts within the library are contained in in-game book items, which can be opened and placed on stands to be read by multiple players at once. These articles generally discuss censorship, unjust punishment, and other critiques of the writer's government. The interior architecture of each country's room symbolizes each country's unique situation and journalistic challenges. Additionally, the library contains a central room listing the Press Freedom Index and current state of freedom of the press of every country covered by the index, and the Mexican section contains memorials for reporters who were killed due to their writings. The Mexico wing holds twelve memorials and a central memorial for Javier Valdez Cárdenas with his report on a pedestal. The Library's Saudi Aribia wing holds reports and memorial of Jamal Khashoggi. In total, the library contains over 200 different books.
An additional room was added into the library to cover issues of press freedom surrounding the topic of COVID-19. It contains books on 10 countries (Brazil, China, Egypt, Hungary, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Thailand and Turkmenistan) to show how reporting of the virus in each country has been affected.
Truth Hegemony is the theme song of the Uncensored Library. The song 'Truth Hegemony' that appears in the official promotional video of the library was written by Lucas Mayer and performed by The Client Said No.
After launch, the project went viral across social media platforms and has been featured in various media outlets such as the BBC, DW News, CNBC, CNN, Tech Crunch, The Verge, Gizmodo, Engadget, Mashable, PC Gamer and Scene World Magazine. Reporters without Borders have stated that the Library of freedom Minecraft server has more than 145 million players every month.
- Berlin DDB and BlockWorks built the structure of the library, while MediaMonks and Reporters without Borders published the project, the latter also selecting the articles displayed within the library.
- "Multi-party Democracy – The key to strengthen the national economy", written by Nguyễn Văn Đái.
- Nelius, Joanna (March 12, 2020). "This Minecraft Library Provides a Platform for Censored Journalists". Games. Gizmodo. Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- Woodyatt, Amy (March 19, 2020). "Minecraft hosts uncensored library full of banned texts". Tech. CNN. Archived from the original on March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- Coldewey, Davonf (March 12, 2020). "Reporters Without Borders uses Minecraft to sneak censored works across borders". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- Maher, Cian (March 18, 2020). "This Minecraft library is making journalism accessible all over the world". Gaming. The Verge. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- "The Uncensored Library — The Making of". The Uncensored Library. Reporter ohne Grenzen. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- "This Minecraft Library Provides a Platform for Censored Journalists". Gizmodo. March 12, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- The Uncensored Library – Truth Hegemony, retrieved May 16, 2022
- "Reporters Without Borders Germany". May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Minecraft 'loophole' library of banned journalism". BBC. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Reporter Without Borders builds uncensored Minecraft library". DW News. March 12, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Reporters Without Borders is using Minecraft to sneak censored news to readers in restrictive countries". CNBC. March 15, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Minecraft hosts uncensored library full of banned journalism". CNN. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Reporters Without Borders uses Minecraft to sneak censored works across borders". Tech Crunch. March 12, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "This Minecraft library is making censored journalism accessible all over the world". The Verge. March 18, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "'Minecraft' library helps you dodge news media censorship". Engadget. March 15, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "This 'Minecraft' library safeguards all censored news of the world". Mashable. March 18, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "New Minecraft library is clever loophole and safe haven for censored journalism". PC Gamer. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Podcast Episode #89 - The Uncensored Library". Scene World. May 25, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- Woodyatt, Amy (March 13, 2020). "Minecraft hosts uncensored library full of banned journalism | CNN Business". CNN. Retrieved May 16, 2022.