How Journalists Are Fighting Censorship in Ecuador

By Dianna Dilworth 

After losing their jobs for being outspoken under Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa‘s strict regime, a group of journalists led by Martin Pallares are fighting back.

Together the group created an app to give a voice back to the people in the face of laws that aim to eliminate freedom of speech opportunities. MashiMachine is a web and mobile app that allows citizens to share to put the words they’d like to hear into Correa’s mouth.

The tool lets users say what they’d like to say through spliced together clips of the president speaking. Users can edit together what they’d like to hear Correa saying using carefully edited together soundbites. These audio recordings run under the president’s photo.

Users have been sharing these videos on social networks with the hashtag #mashimachine. The site is catching on like wild fire. In its first 72 hours, users created more than 110,ooo videos which were viewed more than 700,000 times and the site was visited more than 900,000 times.
The site lives on custom servers and employs an on-demand video editing platform. It took two months to develop the project, which lives on a subdomain of the media outlet Leo Burnett Mexico is the creative agency behind the platform.

The site has been using these videos as a source of opinions for freedom of speech topics. Since it launched, the Ecuadorian government has been trying to shut down these efforts, but has not been able to do so.