SweetBlock: A NFT Twitter Censorship Campaign

//  05.20.21

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 that identifies government officials who have blocked journalists, lawyers and scientist on Twitter.

The campaign comes as Brazil’s media is once again being muzzled by the Bolsonaro government, with the country falling in the global ranking of freedom of the press.


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.

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.

To check whether you’ve been blocked and take part in the campaign, visit: https://bolosantiblock.com.br


Campaign: SweetBlock
URL: https://bolosantiblock.com.br

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

About FCB Brasil
FCB Brasil is a Brazilian advertising agency that is part of the Foote, Cone & Belding network, the first advertising agency in the world. It is also part of the IPG (Interpublic Group) international agency group. Ricardo John is CEO and CCO. The agency’s headquarters are located in São Paulo. For more information, follow FCB on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.