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The Uncensored Library

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The Uncensored Library
Developer(s)Berlin DDB, BlockWorks, Media.Monks, Reporters Without Borders[a]
Initial releaseMarch 12, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-03-12)
TypeMinecraft server & map

The Uncensored Library is a Minecraft server and map released by Reporters Without Borders and created by BlockWorks, DDB Berlin,[1] and Media.Monks[2] as an attempt to circumvent censorship in countries without freedom of the press. The library contains banned reporting from Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Brazil, and Eritrea.[3][4] 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. The two ways to access the library are to download a map from the official website, or to connect to their Minecraft server.[5][2][6]


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.[6] The library uses over 12.5 million Minecraft blocks.[7]


An example of a readable book[b]

Each of the five countries covered by the library, as well as Reporters without Borders, has an individual wing, containing a number of articles,[1] available in English and the original language the article was written in.[2] 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.[1] 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.[2] Additionally, the library contains a central room listing the Press Freedom Index and 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.[6] In March 2020, the library contained over 200 different books.[6]

A room in the library covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on journalism, containing 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.[8]


After launch, the project went viral across social media platforms and has been featured in various media outlets such as the BBC,[9] DW News,[10] CNBC,[11] CNN,[2] Tech Crunch,[5] The Verge,[6] Gizmodo,[1] Engadget,[12] Mashable,[13] PC Gamer[14] and Scene World Magazine.[15] The project also received a 2022 Peabody Award for the Interactive category.[16]

When awarding The Uncensored Library with their Peabody Award, Peabody's website described the library as "a monument to press freedom and an innovative back door for access to censored content."[17]


  1. ^ Berlin DDB and BlockWorks built the structure of the library, while Media.Monks and Reporters without Borders published the project, the latter also selecting the articles displayed within the library.
  2. ^ "Multi-party Democracy – The key to strengthen the national economy", written by Nguyễn Văn Đái.


  1. ^ a b c d 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e Woodyatt, Amy (March 13, 2020). "Minecraft hosts uncensored library full of banned texts". Tech. CNN. Archived from the original on March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Cavalcanti, Marcycleis Maria; Siebra, Sandra Albuquerque; Bufrem, Leilah Santiago; Pajeú, Hélio Márcio (November 13, 2022). "Uncensored Library Project: a strategy to circumvent censorship in countries predatory of press freedom". Revista Digital de Biblioteconomia e Ciência da Informação. 20 (2022): 1–22. doi:10.20396/rdbci.v20i00.8669187/30478. S2CID 259954325. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "The MediaMonks Take Us Inside The Uncensored Library". Webby Awards. September 30, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Coldewey, Devin (March 12, 2020). "Reporters Without Borders uses Minecraft to sneak censored works across borders". Tech Crunch. Archived from the original on August 2, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e 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.
  7. ^ "The Uncensored Library — The Making of". The Uncensored Library. Reporters Without Borders. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Peet, Lisa (April 7, 2022). "Reporters Without Borders' Uncensored Library Uses Minecraft To Provide Access to Censored Work". Library Journal. Archived from the original on October 6, 2022. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  9. ^ Gerken, Tom (March 13, 2020). "Minecraft 'loophole' library of banned journalism". BBC. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Hein, Matthias von (March 12, 2020). "Reporter Without Borders builds uncensored Minecraft library". DW News. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  11. ^ Huddleston Jr., Tom (March 15, 2020). "Reporters Without Borders is using Minecraft to sneak censored news to readers in restrictive countries". CNBC. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  12. ^ Fingas, Jon (March 15, 2020). "'Minecraft' library helps you dodge news media censorship". Engadget. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Gill, Tarvin (March 18, 2020). "This 'Minecraft' library safeguards all censored news of the world". Mashable. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  14. ^ Davenport, James (March 13, 2020). "New Minecraft library is clever loophole and safe haven for censored journalism". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  15. ^ AJ; Joerg (May 25, 2020). "Podcast Episode #89 - The Uncensored Library". Scene World. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Voyles, Blake (September 13, 2023). "83rd Peabody Award Winners". Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  17. ^ "The Uncensored Library". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved September 14, 2023.

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