Recent Posts

dog statue in a mask, seattle
The Year of Going Nowhere

Today is the anniversary of the day I started paying attention to the coronavirus pandemic in earnest. We’re about to see a wave of these posts of people reflecting on a year in isolation &#8211…

Hey Twitter, I need it not to be 6ourbon 7ime

I quit drinking a bit more than three years ago. I wrestle with terms – I had a fairly easy time quitting, which makes me wonder whether “alcoholic” is the right word for me, but &#8…

Mistrust, or Books as Letters to a Future World

My new book, Mistrust: How Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them, launches today. For those of you who live near me in western New England, I’ll be on WAMC with Joe D…

Fixing disinformation won’t save us

I’m quoted today in an excellent article by Jose Del Real in the Washington Post. The article addresses the ongoing challenges we are likely to face as a nation as we cope with the aftermath of …

Splitting wood with wedge and hammer
The US, Canada and “long hope”

With love and respect to my friends in the US who are celebrating today, I’m not there. Yes, it’s wonderful that Donald Trump will no longer be in the White House, though I suspect the pro…

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

There’s a lot that’s weird about vaccine prioritization but this one is just bizarre: type 1 diabetics like me are 2-4x more likely to have serious complications from COVID, but we are a lower vaccine priority than less effected type 2 patients: https://www.statnews.com/2021/01/11/for-people-with-type-1-diabetes-cdc-guidelines-for-covid-19-vaccine-priority-are-puzzling/

People with type 1 diabetes are facing a crisis. We have 3x the risk of being hospitalized, intubated, in the ICU, or dying from COVID than someone without diabetes. We’re being cast aside instead of prioritized for the vaccine. Help us out. @POTUS @VP @NIAIDNews @theNASEM

It’s hard to follow what’s going on in Myanmar as citizens resist the military coup, but @globalvoices has an excellent overview as well as updates from the field on the incredible, brave defiance from pro-democracy protestors: https://globalvoices.org/special/myanmar-coup-2021/

Misinformation often comes from the top (and when it does platforms are often very reluctant to act), exhibit no ∞

Brazilian President Jair “Bolsonaro violated Facebook rules for Covid at least 29 times in 2021, but was not punished” @camposmello reports https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/equilibrioesaude/2021/03/bolsonaro-violou-regras-do-facebook-para-covid-ao-menos-29-vezes-em-2021-mas-nao-foi-punido.shtml

Good piece from @ezraklein on how Biden has been boring but effective… and it features a graph from @media_cloud! https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/opinion/biden-american-rescue-plan.html

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