Recent Posts

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 Donahue…

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 a pres…

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 process of extr…

Stop Doomscrolling. Hang out with smart folks trying to build better futures online.

My US readers – Let’s be honest: you’re doomscrolling. It’s not helping. Unless you’re an attorney who can intervene legally in a voter intimidation scenario, there’s very little useful you can do rig…

Beyond Facebook Logic: Help us Identify and Map Alternative Social Media!

(By Ethan and Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University) As we head towards a pivotal US presidential election in early November, social media platforms …

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, a non-profit founder ( and co-founder (, 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.



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.


 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.



 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.


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.


“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 @EthanZ on institutionalists and insurrectionists

“QAnon…is utterly crazy. But QAnon is a helpful caution: mistrust is powerful fuel, and if we don’t harness our dissatisfaction with broken systems to the work of (re)building institutions, it becomes an accelerant that can burn things down instead.”

Insurrectionism can be a civically responsible form of rejecting institutionalism, writes @EthanZ, but that’s not what the Capitol rioters were doing.

.@JoeCDonahue’s interview with @EthanZ about his book #Mistrust: @wwnorton

Books are letters to a future world you can’t imagine – thoughts on releasing “Mistrust” in a confusing and frightening world:

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