Recent Posts

Danielle Allen ends her campaigns… or “How Institutions Insulate Themselves from Change”

This summer I did something radically out of character: I wrote a check – a political donation for t…

My pandemic coping strategy: interviewing.

As we head into the third year of the pandemic, everyone I know is missing something. Live music. Re…

Joy defends herself
Hope and Joy

My great aunt Jean carried a huge plastic tote bag as her purse. On each side of the bag were photos…

Microfinance and public shaming in Nigeria

I got an interesting email from a young Nigerian today alerting me to the problem of social shaming …

I read Facebook’s Widely Viewed Content Report. It’s really strange.

What content is popular on Facebook? This is a surprisingly difficult – and very important &#8…

Ethan Zuckerman

Hi. I’m Ethan Zuckerman. I’m a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I teach Public Policy, Communication and Information. I’m starting a new research center called the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure. Over the years, I’ve been a tech startup guy (with Tripod.com), a non-profit founder (Geekcorps.org) and co-founder (Globalvoices.org), and throughout it all, a blogger.

I started blogging here in 2003 when this site was titled “My Heart’s in Accra”. I now write in a lot of different fora – for The Atlantic, Columbia Journalism Review and other sites, on my Medium page and as part of different university projects. Blogging led me to writing books as well as academic and journalistic articles, and much of that work features here.

Books

Mistrust

How can you change society if you lose faith in institutions like governments and corporations? Mistrust (2021) is a guidebook to social change through movements that try to change minds and hearts as well as laws.

Rewire

 Is the Internet bringing us closer together? Or just insulating us in our echo chambers? Rewire (2013) explores ways to break those echo chambers and build a more connected world.

Projects

iDPI

 Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure – a new research center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, exploring future visions of the internet that center civic life and the public good.

Gobo

A social media aggregator that gives you control over what and who you hear the most from. 

Media Cloud

A free, open source tool for tracking ideas, individuals and stories across the open web.

Global Voices

An online community of writers, artists and translators who work together to bring a richer, more nuanced picture of life around the world, with contributors in over 150 countries.

Articles

“The Internet’s Original Sin” is an article I wrote for the Atlantic about the toxic nature of the ad supported internet… and my confession of unleashing the popup ad on the world.

“The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure” offers a vision of how we might build an internet on values of civic engagement rather than private profit.

“Cute Cats to the Rescue?” is an oldie but goodie – my attempt to explain the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism and censorship resistance in academic form.

Tweets & Podcasts

Podcast: Reimagining the Internet

My Tweets

The Indian government is asking Twitter to censor conversations about Kashmir, no matter how non-threatening they are. Twitter keeps complying. @nickpickles, this would be a great case to review and decide if you’re comfortable following Indian government demands on content.

“Building better social media is both possible and essential.” @EthanZ (@UMassAmherst) shows us a path forward and shares lessons for technologists and social change leaders working to create a more healthy social media environment. #PublicInterestTech https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_good_web

#FreeAlaa
#SaveAlaa https://twitter.com/NadaaBashir/status/1542867227988398083

There’s a battle for the future of social media between:
– the existing plaforms
– the people kicked off existing platforms
– web3
and the folks who want a small, distributed world of social media. Whose vision is the right way forward?

4 visions to 𝙁𝙄𝙓 our Internet-in-a-Blender

1) Facebook Knows Best: The Centralized Web

2) Put Us in Charge: The Deplatformed Web

3) Put Nobody in Charge: Web3

4) Think Small: Decentralized Social Networks

By Ethan Zuckerman (@EthanZ)

READ HERE:
https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_good_web

Public Speaking

My Talks

I enjoy public speaking as a way to develop new ideas, meet new people and see different parts of the world. My TED talk, seen below, is a good introduction both to my public speaking and the ideas in my books.

I don’t use an agent for speaking – if you want to invite me to speak at your event, conference or bar mitzvah, contact me through my contact form.

Fixing Social Media
What the Post Office Can Tell us about the Internet