INTERVIEW: MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman Says ‘Be Angry and Engage’

We are looking toward a future where civic tech is no longer remarkable, it is just part of how government functions, says the MIT Media Lab professor.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/17

Credit: CC BY 4.0- g0v Summit 2018 recording team

Editor’s note: Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab and the Director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, joined the g0v summit 2018 in Taipei this October. Zuckerman is a renowned internet activist. He is also author of “Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection” (W. W. Norton, 2013). He co-founded the international blogging community Global Voices and founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer organization. had a chance to talk to him about the internet, fake news and more. What do you think we should do about apathy in democratic socieities?

Zuckerman: Everything I am trying to talk about is to fight disengagement. The most dangerous force is disengagement. II would prefer to see people be angry and unproductive and engage, rather than disengage. An angry and unproductive person at least has energy, and you can channel that energy in different directions. Disengaged people have no energy and there is no power for change. We have to look at why people disengage, [which] is that they feel participating in a system won’t have any benefit for them. And often they are right. Often participating in democracy that isn’t representing them, maybe it’s not a good use of time. I started investigating this because whenever people talk about low voting rates, they blame people for [being] disinterested and lazy. But what if the answer is that the voting is not meaningful; you can vote but the system doesn‘t change, and has the same outcome?    [FULL  STORY]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.