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Judith Donath is a writer, designer and artist whose work focuses on the co-evolution of technology and society. She has published numerous articles about social media, AI, ethics and anonymity, and is the author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online (MIT Press). As the former director of the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group, she and her students designed innovative interfaces for on-line communities; their art projects examining the future of identity, privacy and mediated life have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Currently, she is a faculty fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and is writing a book about technology, trust and deception


Mar 11, 2010

Radio Berkman 146: The Early Days of the Avatar

This week on Radio Berkman: Jeremy Bailenson of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab sits down with Judith Donath...

Jan 14, 2010

Radio Berkman 141: Signaling in the Wild, Signaling Online

This week on Radio Berkman: Dan Jones learns about signaling theory and the ubiquity of communicative behavior from Judith Donath...

Feb 17, 2009

Radio Berkman: Restrictions, Connections, Visualizations

This week on Radio Berkman: Jonathan Zittrain and Judith Donath discuss, respectively, Herdict Web and the "Connections" exhibition at the MIT Museum...

Feb 11, 2009

Making (digital) airwaves

This week has been thick with Berkman-related audio: conversations with Judith Donath, John Palfrey, David Hornik, and Esra'a Al Shafei all made their way onto the Net...


The Atlantic

It’s the End of the Web as We Know It

Judith Donath and Bruce Schneier warn that, without intervention, the continued expansion of generative AI will end the Web's utility as a public resource.

Apr 22, 2024
The Verge

A history of metaphors for the internet

BKC Faculty Associate Judith Donath discusses metaphors for the internet.

May 18, 2023

Teaching kids how to use social media smartly and safely

BKC Faculty Associate Judith Donath discusses the threat social media poses to children and realistic solutions to mitigate that threat.

Mar 25, 2023

We don't need another Twitter

BKC Faculty Associate Judith Donath speaks about Twitter’s demise and the potential of any possible replacements. Whatever rises up to become the new major widespread…

Dec 7, 2022

The Best of Worst Times

Fellows Advisory Board member Judith Donath on the privilege of working online

Mar 12, 2020
Pew Research Center

Many Tech Experts Say Digital Disruption Will Hurt Democracy

Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center canvassed technology experts in the summer of 2019 to gain their insights about the potential future…

Feb 21, 2020

What’s the future of the internet — and society?

Learning from our past and reevaluating our present, a recent World Affairs Council event opened discussion for what’s next in the world of information access.

Feb 13, 2020

Internet Deception Is Here to Stay—So What Do We Do Now?

Judith Donath’s work from 1998 on the effects of trolling on Usenet groups was highlighted in a recent Wired article on disinformation.

Dec 30, 2019

Looking Back At The 2010s: The Decade In Tech

Judith Donath joins Radio Boston to discuss the last decade in tech.

Dec 27, 2019
Popular Mechanics

What Will the Internet Be Like in the Next 50 Years?

The internet turned 50 this week, but what comes next could be even more revolutionary.

Nov 1, 2019
The Atlantic

It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Friends Are?

Constant location-sharing is now the norm for some friend groups.

Aug 20, 2019
Ottawa Citizen

As artificial intelligence evolves, digital pets are making a comeback, and are more realistic and interactive than ever

Digital pets present an attractive option for many millennials and Gen X-ers whose lifestyles don’t necessarily mesh with owning a pet

Aug 8, 2019
The Sociable

AI can assist in parenthood but it cannot replace parents

BKC’s Judith Donath lends insight into the role of AI in parenting

Jun 13, 2019

Enveloped in Suspicion

Envelopes are one of those banal objects of everyday life we seldom think much about. They are, however, an ancient — and at one time controversial — privacy technology.

May 14, 2019
Washington Times

A.I. experts warn of loss of free will, need for morality

"By 2030, most social situations will be facilitated by bots"

Dec 11, 2018

You Are Entering an Ephemeral Bio-allowed Data Capture Zone

Regulating, not banning, facial recognition technology

Jul 23, 2018

The Robot Dog Fetches for Whom?

"A boy sits with his dog at the edge of a beautiful and serene lake. Under the blue sky, the far shore is visible, with a short wide beach and green woods behind it. The boy wears…

May 7, 2017


Signals, Truth & Design - Fall 2007

Much of what we want to know about other people is not directly perceivable. Are you a nice person? Are you feeling angry? If we fell in love and got married would you be a good…


May 20, 2014 @ 6:00 PM

Book Launch: The Social Machine

Judith Donath, Berkman Center Fellow

Computers were first conceived as “thinking machines,” but in the twenty-first century they have become social machines, online places where people meet friends, play games, and…

Mar 5, 2014 @ 6:30 PM

US Launch of *impossible*

with special guests Lily Cole, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Rosemary Leith, Jonathan Zittrain, Judith Donath, and Urs Gasser

On March 5, the Berkman Center will celebrate the US launch of *impossible*. Joining us will be Lily Cole, founder of *impossible* and fashion model, actress, and social…

Jun 25, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

REWIRE: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

A book launch with the author, Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the MIT Center for Civic Media

A rousing call to action for those who would be citizens of the world—online and off.

Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

This is Improbable

Featuring Marc Abrahams and other special guests

Marc Abrahams -- publisher of the Annals of Improbable Research, host of the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, and author of several books (including his latest, This is Improbable:…

Apr 25, 2008 @ 9:00 AM


In the making since '94

Mix up a bunch of super famous internet memes, some brainy academics, a big audience, dump them in Cambridge, MA and you've got ROFLCon.

Feb 5, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

Designing Society

Judith Donath, Berkman Fellow and MIT Media Lab Social Media Group

In this talk, Judith Donath, a Berkman Fellow and Director of the MIT Social Media Group, discussed how design affects identity, reputation, and trust by presenting several design…

Sep 18, 2007 @ 12:30 PM

The Future of Net - One Web Day / Berkman's 10th Anniversary

Wendy Seltzer, Judith Donath, Gene Koo, and Jonathan Zittrain

Berkman Fellows and Faculty Judith Donath, Gene Koo, Wendy Seltzer, and Jonathan Zittrain discuss The Future of the Internet, in celebration of OneWebDay.

Jul 16, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP)

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) is a joint effort of the Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute, which provides top doctoral students from around the world with the…