Recent Posts

Recommendations from the road

Amy and I had about as gentle a pandemic as one could have. No one in our immediate family contracted COVID, we both were able to move our jobs online with no major hitches, and our time at home gave …

Academic procession
A milestone I never expected

I got the good news today that I have been granted tenure at the University of Massachusetts. This is very good news, as the tenure process is inherently a gamble: if you begin the tenure process and …

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…

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

Congratulations to pioneer Dr. Latanya Sweeney on the official launch of the #PublicInterestTech Lab. The future is in good hands with the @public_techlab shaping the next generation of public interest technologists! @Harvard @ShorensteinCtr https://bit.ly/3xLbbAT

Love the work that altered athlete (quad rugby star) @derrick_helton is doing to promote altered, not disabled, identity.

Hey Cory @doctorow , is this adversarial interop in action? I’m guessing Insta/Facebook didn’t approve Twitter including this in their client: https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/23/22546672/twitter-instagram-stories-share-tweets-ios?utm_source=Daily+Lab+email+list&utm_campaign=aca708c515-dailylabemail3&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d68264fd5e-aca708c515-395904233

👏 Applause to @mayerjoy for a fantastic job moderating the #ONA21 chat on @EthanZ’s new book.

If you missed it, look for the session recording so you can listen to the conversation on demand, at your convenience.
https://ona21.journalists.org/sessions/book-club-mistrust/ https://twitter.com/mayerjoy/status/1407778332477898756

“I’ve read Mao Tse Tung, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with having some understanding of the country we are here to defend?” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the need for the military to read critical race theory.

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