Zeynep Tufekci is a writer and scholar whose work examines the social implications of new technologies and science, such as artificial intelligence and big data, as well as complex societal challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. Her book Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, published by Yale University Press, examined the evolution of social movements, authoritarianism, and the public sphere in the digital era. Her research has also examined the challenges that engagement-driven social media platforms pose to the health of the public sphere. During the pandemic, she contributed to multidisciplinary efforts to study public health policies and to explore scientific questions regarding masks and aerosol transmission. At Columbia Journalism School, she will lead the Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security, and teach classes on journalistic ethics, understanding and examining ideas and science, causal inference, and more. Her public service includes more than a decade of public writing and speaking on these topics.
Professor Tufekci studied computer science before obtaining her BA in Sociology from Istanbul University in 1995. She completed her MA in Radio, Television, and Film at the University of Texas in 1999, followed by her PhD in 2004. Professor Tufekci joined the University of North Carolina as an Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Library Science in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016. Since 2021, Professor Tufekci has been an opinion columnist at the New York Times.
Zeynep Tufekci's Faculty Profile