Herdict collected and disseminated real-time, crowdsourced information about Internet filtering, denial of service attacks, and other blockages. The project ran from 2007-2019.
Based at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, it was the first and only large-scale project of its kind. When individuals couldn’t access a site, they would report that experience to Herdict through browser toolbars, e-mail, Twitter, or Herdict.org. Herdict aggregated this data to create a real-time map of global Internet health. This data could be sorted and visualized by country, URL, and date, creating a picture of changes as they are happening.
The brainchild of Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Herdict was a natural progression from the OpenNet Initiative. Whereas OpenNet views Internet filtering through an academic lens, Herdict used crowdsourcing to present a rougher, but more timely analysis.
Herdict’s name was a portmanteau of 'herd' and 'verdict.’ We sought to gain insight into what users around the world are experiencing in terms of web accessibility; or in other words, determine the Herdict.