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Ethan Zuckerman - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Ethan Zuckerman Ethan Zuckerman

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Communication and Information | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Ethan Zuckerman's work focuses on building alternatives to the commercial internet.

Expertise (5)

Social Media Governance

Technology and Social Change

Digital Public Infrastructure

Online Community Governance

Social Media


An international expert on designing and advocating for versions of social media are designed to have positive social and civic impacts, Ethan Zuckerman is frequently sought out to discuss idea for moving beyond existing models of funding and governance in social media and on the internet.

Social Media






Education (1)

Williams College: B.A., Philosophy

Media Coverage (9)

Ruling could dampen government efforts to rein in Big Tech

AP News  online


Ethan Zuckerman comments in an article about how a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on climate change could dampen efforts to reign in the tech industry.

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Reimaging the Future of Digital Public Spaces

KQED  radio


Ethan Zuckerman is a panelist on a nationally syndicated radio show discussing a reimagined future for digital public spaces.


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It’s the Billionaires’ Internet, and We’re Just Posting on It

Vice  online


Ethan Zuckerman is quoted in several articles about Elon Musk’s preliminary agreement to purchase Twitter are quoted in several articles.

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Telegram Thrives Amid Russia’s Media Crackdown

The Wall Street Journal  print


Ethan Zuckerman comments about the rise of social media platform Telegram as a result of Russia’s media crackdown following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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How Addictive Social Media Algorithms Could Finally Face a Reckoning in 2022

TIME Magazine  


Ethan Zuckerman comments in an article asking if addictive social media algorithms could face a reckoning in 2022.

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Twitch Isn't Overwhelmed With Far-Right Extremists, But It Does Have A Big Misinformation Problem

Kotaku  online


Ethan Zuckerman comments about how Twitch has now joined older social media platforms in beginning to combat misinformation.

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Misinformation Is Destroying Our Country. Can Anything Rein It In?

The Nation  print


Zuckerman comments about possible ways to rein in online misinformation. He says, “The Nazis right now have an incentive to build alternative distributed media, and the rest of us are behind because we don’t have the incentive to do it. My real deep fear is that we end up ceding the design of this way of building social networks to far-right extremists, because they are the ones who need these new spaces to discuss and organize."

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To Thrive, Our Democracy Needs Digital Public Infrastructure

Politico  online


"This is why a growing group of scholars and technologists have started looking at new ways of supporting flourishing online public life by focusing on parks and libraries for the internet — what scholar Ethan Zuckerman calls “digital public infrastructure.”

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Fragmented and humbled: How social media could emerge from the post-election crisis

The Boston Globe  print


"The events of the past few weeks “could be an ugly path that might get us toward a very different media environment,” said Ethan Zuckerman, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has been working on ways to better orient social media toward civic conversation and public benefit."

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Publications (5)

War as a mediated catastrophe


Ethan Zuckerman


Ethan Zuckerman examines the media dynamics of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the marked differences in how Putin and Zelensky use media and social media to frame their own narratives.

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How Has Misinformation Evolved Over The Past Ten Years?


Ethan Zuckerman


Zuckerman writes about how misinformation has changed over the last decade. He says, "

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Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them (Book)

W. W. Norton & Company

Ethan Zuckerman


Zuckerman says: "How can you change society if you lose faith in institutions like governments and corporations? Mistrust: How Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them (2021) looks at democracies like the US through the lens of mistrust in institutions, a massive social trend."

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The real lesson of Trump's social media silencing


Ethan Zuckerman


Ethan Zuckerman writes that social media companies removing Donald Trump from their platforms "reflect a major shift in how large social media platforms handle extreme speech. They have long tolerated right-wing extremists and were particularly hands-off with Trump, concluding that his tweets and posts -- for all his flagrant lying and bullying -- were important dispatches from a world leader, and had to stay up for everyone in our democracy to see."

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Digital Cosmopolitansz; Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't, and How to Rewire It (Book)

W. W. Norton & Company

Ethan Zuckerman


In Digital Cosmopolitans, Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not guarantee human interaction or the healthy exchange of information and ideas.

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