“This video has been removed” or “this video is not available in your country” are common annoyances for millions of web users. Often driven by claims from copyright holders, tens of thousands of videos and other content are pulled from websites every day. But as MAFIAAFire shows with their latest project, there are nearly always alternatives to be found.
Releasing the browser add-on had a bigger impact than the MAFIAA Fire team could have ever hoped for. The U.S. Government was not amused by this “uncensor tool” and asked Mozilla to pull the it from their site. However, Mozilla refused to do so and the add-on gained Internet fame as a result.
This success motivated the MAFIAAFire team to come up with more anti-censorship tools. Two months ago they released the “Gee! No evil!” plugin which thwarts Google’s search engine censorship, and today they introduce a fresh add-on for Firefox and Chrome, which allows people to find alternative URLs for blocked content.
Named “Slash Unblocker” – a reference to a recent South Park episode – the add-on provides a quick way for people to submit and obtain links for videos or other content that has been taken down or removed.
“The idea is born out of the general frustration you have when you go to a page and see it has been taken down for some stupid reason. Or because the page is “not authorized for viewing in your country”,” the MAFIAAFire team explained to TorrentFreak.
The plugin is pretty straightforward. Whenever you run into a page that contains content which is blocked in your country, or has been taken down entirely, you’ll click on the “Slash Unblocker” button to see if there are alternative sources. The system relies on participation from users, who are encouraged to submit alternative sources when there are none available.
The video below explains in detail how the process works.
MAFIAAFire’s ‘Slash Unblocker’
With more than 100,000 downloads the previous MAFIAAFire plugins have been a great success. This motivated the team to continue working on new projects that they believe are needed to stop the ever-increasing censorship attempts on the Internet. Not just because the tools are useful, but also to make a statement.
“The message is you CAN fight back, the time to fight back is NOW, we outnumber them in numbers, intelligence, and will,” the MAFIAAFire team told us. “The fact that the U.S. Government tried to interfere with what we are doing is testament to it working.”
Although not everyone will agree with the tactics used, MAFIAAFire is once again proving John Gilmore right:
“The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”