By MAKENA CLARDY
Sheridan High School Student
The Sheridan Student Column is brought to readers by Sheridan High School’s 10th grade English class, taught by Abby Williams.
There are countries where news and social media are changed by the government in order to affect how the people who live there see the world. It affects those who grow up with these changes more strongly.
However, a few years ago, the organization Reporters Without Borders found a way to bypass internet censorship in some of these countries in a way that will be easily accessible – by using the game Minecraft.
Reporters Without Borders collaborated with Blockworks, a company that creates Minecraft worlds, to make the Uncensored Library. The Uncensored Library is a place where journalists who come from places where there is a lot of censorship can still get the information that they have risked their homes, their jobs, and even their lives to get to the public, to the public.
Their website, uncensoredlibrary.com/en, mentions a few specific reporters and reporter groups. The ones that you can see are Jamal Khashoggi from Saudi Arabia, Yulia Berezovskaia from Russia, Nguyen Van Dai from Vietnam, Javier Valdez from Mexico, and the Mada Masr from Egypt. The section for Mexico also has a list of reporters who have died reporting.
The Minecraft world itself consists of an island with a few trees, a huge garden that surrounds the library, a statue in front of the library, and, of course, the library itself. The library is big, with several floors and six separate wings. Five of the wings are dedicated to specific countries. Each of those wings has a centerpiece that somehow corresponds to how information is being censored there. For example, the Russian one is a data kraken, representing how tight Russia is on internet censorship. The last one is dedicated to Reporters without Borders, and the work that they do.
It’s really cool how they found a way to get information to their target audience in a way that would be easily accessible.