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Baltimore quizmaker helps subvert N. Korean regime. Really.

A screenshot of NewsUp's North Korea quiz, which is being used to promote a campaign to provide flash drives of film, TV, and literature from the outside world to the people of North Korea.

A screenshot of NewsUp’s North Korea: Fact or Fiction? quiz, which is being used to promote a campaign to provide flash drives of film, TV, and literature from the outside world to the people of North Korea.

A Baltimore-based publisher of online quizzes is doing its part to help smuggle banned material — such as movies, TV shows, and e-books from the outside world — into the secretive and oppressive North Korean state to help residents learn more about what’s outside the Hermit Kingdom.

NewsUp, which publishes online quizzes on topics ranging from Star Wars and Marvel Comics to food, sports, and world politics, has teamed up with a nonprofit Human Rights Foundation to support the foundation’s Flash Drives for Freedom campaign: an effort to secretly disseminate the drives — loaded with contraband content — to the North Korean People.

Visitors to either the NewsUp or Flash Drives for Freedom websites can take a NewsUp quiz about life in North Korean and the difficulties faced by its residents.

A sample, true-or-false question reads “The North Korean government actively monitors the thoughts and conversations of its people.” (Hint: it’s true).

NewsUp, founded in 2012, believes quizzes can be an effective way to engage with readers and get them thinking, interacting and sharing, which makes the experience of consuming news more valuable for users and publishers, CEO and co-founder Andrew Schuster said in a statement.

A view of North Korea from the Chinese city of Dandong in January 2014. When viewed with binoculars, the Ferris wheel appears two-dimensional, as if made of plywood. (Photo by the author).

A view of North Korea from the Chinese city of Dandong in January 2014. When viewed with binoculars, the Ferris wheel appears two-dimensional, as if made of plywood. (Photo by the author).

The interactive quiz about North Korea is an engaging way to raise awareness about the country, “where dictators are worshiped like gods, where the postal system reads and censors all mail, and where citizens cannot access the internet,” Andrea Austin, director of programs at Human Rights Foundation, said in a news release. The flash drive campaign is a way for technology to help free minds inside the isolate country, she said.

NewsUp is also partnering with the National Institutes of Health to support a campaign by that organization to promote responsible drinking, the company announced Monday.

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