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Past Project


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 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.

Our Work 17

Jul 1, 2011

Berkman Buzz: July 1, 2011

Measuring the impact of journalism, reviewing Google+, who to trust online, and this week's Buzz.

Feb 24, 2011

Filtering at the Wisconsin State Capitol

(updated 2/28)

Over on the Herdict blog, a new post about the blocking of on the guest wireless at the Wisconsin Capitol Building...

Feb 15, 2011

Questions for Secretary Clinton concerning "Internet freedom"

Faculty associate Matthew Hindman provoked an energetic email exchange among members of the extended Berkman Center community today, in anticipation of Secretary Clinton's …

Jan 28, 2011

Egypt Coverage

A number of Berkman projects and collaborators are keeping a close eye on the state of Internet access in Egypt.

Sep 8, 2010

Omidyar Network announces grant to Herdict

Grant will be used to build Herdict into a standalone non-profit

The Berkman Center is pleased to share some exciting news: Omidyar Network has announced a planned grant of up to $1.5M to Herdict -- the Berkman Center's crowdsourcing platform…

Apr 27, 2010

April's "Word to the Herd," from Herdict

New reporting facilities + Country Leadership program

This month's "Word to the Herd" newsletter reports two big developments: country leaders; and reporting website accessibility by email and Twitter...

Jan 13, 2010

Herdict launches Russian and Persian interfaces

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society announces the launch of Persian ( and Russian ( interfaces for Herdict Web...

Oct 1, 2009

The OpenNet Initiative reports on Internet filtering in Sub-Saharan Africa

ONI has released new research on Sub-Saharan Africa, including reports on Uganda and Nigeria, where ONI tested for the first time in 2008 and 2009...

Aug 12, 2009

OpenNet Initiative releases 2009 Middle East & North Africa research

The Berkman Center is pleased to share an announcement from the ONI: the partnership has released new studies of Internet filtering in the Middle East and North Africa. Government…

Jun 2, 2009

Herdict Chinese is live

(updated June 2)

Herdict Web -- Berkman's tool for tracking global web (in)accessibility -- is now available in Mandarin! And, as of June 2, Herdict is seeing a surge in reporting from China...

Apr 8, 2009

Herdict Web gets bigger and smarter...

Herdict Web -- Berkman's tool for tracking global web (in)accessibility -- has now been in the wild for six weeks! and what wild and woolly weeks they have been (YouTube blocked…

Apr 1, 2009

OpenNet Initiative: "Freedom House Releases Key Findings on Internet Freedom"

Today on the OpenNet Initiative blog, ONI discusses the release of Freedom House's report on Internet freedom...

Mar 5, 2009

Report release: 2007 Circumvention Landscape Report: Methods, Uses, and Tools

The Berkman Center is pleased to make available its report on techniques and tools for circumventing Internet filtering...

Feb 25, 2009

Herdict Web

the verdict of the herd

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the official launch of Herdict Web -- a tool that employs the distributed power of the Internet community to provide insight into what…

Feb 23, 2009

Internet filtering: 2008 in review

The OpenNet Initiative is proud to present its Year in Review: a summary of events worldwide concerning the practices and polices of Internet filtering and surveillance...

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 10, 2009 @ 12:30 PM

Herdict: The Verdict of the Herd

Jonathan Zittrain and the Herdict Team

Jonathan Zittrain and the Herdict Team will present Herdict Web, a tool that seeks to gain insight into what users around the world are experiencing in terms of web accessibility.

People 03

Point of Contact

Ryan Budish