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This Twitter Censorship Campaign Encourages Online Protest Through the Use of NFTs

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Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism worked with FCB to create cryptographic cakes to identify and report government officials who have blocked Brazilian citizens on Twitter

This Twitter Censorship Campaign Encourages Online Protest Through the Use of NFTs

Inspired by Brazilian newspapers that printed cake recipes to protest government censorship during the country’s 1964-85 dictatorship, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism worked with FCB to create cryptographic cakes to identify and report government officials who have blocked Brazilian citizens on Twitter.

Thanks to the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) and the website Congresso em Foco, journalists, lawyers and members of the country’s scientific community now have their 'cake' and can tweet it too.

Working with FCB Brasil and its creative data arm FCB/SIX, Abraji devised unique pieces of cake-inspired crypto-art that journalists and people from other professions including educators and scientists can use on their Twitter profile to indicate to followers that they have been blocked by the country’s government officials.

To obtain one of the cryptographic cakes, simply log-in to the dedicated website, which detects if their Twitter account has been blocked by at least one of the 600 people currently holding public office in the country—including the president and vice-president, as well as various secretaries and ministers of state.

For those who have been blocked, the system generates a unique cryptographic cake using non-fungible token technology, signifying that it is certified and unique. The shape and ingredients for the cryptographic cake also convey specific information: A square cake, for example, signifies that someone has been blocked by a congressman, while caramel frosting indicates that they were blocked for opposing political views, while the cake’s texture indicates their professional field (eg: biologist, journalist, etc.).

NFT’s help create a type of “digital police report” that is blockchain-certified and records not only the person who was blocked, but also the person who blocked them, and the reason for the block. Once registered to the blockchain, each NFT is impossible to censor or erase.

The “SweetBlock” campaign was inspired by the cake recipes that the country’s newspapers would publish to protest articles that had been censored by the country’s repressive military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985.


There is already a gallery of cakes that includes journalists blocked by government officials, including Amanda Audi, executive director of the Congress em Foco. “The tool found that I was blocked by the president, two ministers of state, one senator and two congressmen, so I have four distinct and unique cakes,” said Audi. “We hope this initiative will help denounce the arbitrary decision to block people’s access to social network accounts of public figures.”

The most blocked professions are journalists (19%), lawyers (9.5%) and advertising professionals (7.5%), with other professionals blocked include educators (7%), business administrators (6%) and scientists, doctors and healthcare workers (3%).

“Since April 2021, ‘SweetBlock’ identified 412 blocks, 78 of these being on journalists,” says Cristina Zahar, Abraji Executive Secretary. “When this happens, the journalists are hindered in their ability to access information that is in the public’s interest, especially when the accounts are used for official government communications. With the campaign, we want to call attention to the problem and promote discussions on the subject.”

The monitoring tool indicates that President Jair Bolsonaro is the government official who most blocks people on Twitter, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all blocks (24%) and blocking on average 240 times more users than a federal deputy. The data also found that the leading reason for being blocked by a politician is criticism of their conduct.

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Client: Abraji & Congresso em Foco

Executive Director, Congresso em Foco: Amanda Audi

Executive Secretary, Abraji: Cristina Zahar

Monitoring Analyst: Mirella Cordeiro

CEO & Founder, Congresso em Foco: Sylvio Costa

Communications Manager, Digital: Thiago Assunção


Chief Creative Officer: Ricardo John

Chief Creative Officer: Ian Mackenzie, Ricardo John

Chief Strategy Officer: Renata D'Ávila

Chief Growth Officer: Fábio Freitas

VP, Product: Bonnie Chung

VP, Media: Tiago Santos

VP, Client Services: Elthon Longhi

Executive Creative Directors: Anna Martha Silveira, Fabio Simões, Marcelo Rizério

Associate Creative Director: Rafael Pascarella

Head of Art: Fábio Cristo

Designer: Fábio Cristo, João Porto

Art Director: André Mezzomo

Copywriter: Kayran Moroni

Content Strategist: Théa Rodrigues

Motion Design & Editing Manager: Rodrigo Resende

Editor: Luiz Eduardo Doria

Production Director: Fernanda Geraldini

Broadcast Supervisor: Pedro Lazzuri

Production Manager: João Albertini

Senior Project Manager: Amanda Redondo

Associate Broadcast Producer: Amanda Fonseca

Strategic Platforms Lead: Eli Ferrara

Tech Lead: Juscelino Vieira

Junior Developer: Liandra Monteiro

Strategy Director: Rafael Martins

Insights Manager: Priscilla Olegario

Data Analist: Thiago Fatichi

Client Services Director: Samya Anjos

PR: Maria Cacaia, Priscila Noronha

IT: Ricardo Gomes, Rodrigo Fernandes

Legal & Finance: Catarina Fugulin, Ricardo Silva, Thiago Bezerra

Technology Partners: IVM, Litemint, Mdcode, OriginalMy, Zappo

UX: Igor Magrini

Frontend & Backend: Bruno Dias, Daniel Morsoleto, Sandro Salles

Blockchain: Edilson Osorio Jr, Fred Rezeau

Sound Production: Shuffle Audio

Musical Production: Luiz Fernando Vital

Composer: Luiz Fernando Vital

Mixing & Post Production: Shuffle Audio

Account Services: Marina Leite

Coordination: Alexandre Marcondes

Voiceover: Fabio Pannunzio, Marta Campos

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Newspapers

FCB Brasil, Thu, 20 May 2021 16:53:00 GMT