Artist News

Uncensored Playlist uses music streaming services to sidestep media censorship

By | Published on Friday 4 May 2018

Uncensored Playlist

Reporters Without Borders has gone public with an interesting project called Uncensored Playlist, which asks musicians to turn censored articles into pop songs.

The idea was sparked after the organisation noted that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music often remain freely available in countries where media censorship online is otherwise rife. This, they realised, presented an opportunity to circumvent these barriers to information.

To launch the project, Uncensored Playlist worked with five journalists from China, Egypt, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, who have all experienced censorship. Initially, the songs were released without any promotion, so as not to alert authorities. It proved successful, with the Vietnamese songs they created reaching the top ten in the country’s streaming charts.

“We just did it”, Patrik Lenhart tells The Guardian, he working for PR agency DDB, which was also involved in the project. “We sneaked them on to spark people to find loopholes, to prove we could beat the censors”.

Find out more about the project here, and watch a short video here: