Zeynep Tufekci

McColl Term Associate Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science
Zeynep Tufekci photo
Manning Hall
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Faculty Expertise:

Social impacts of technology, privacy and surveillance, inequality, research methods and complex systems.

*** Please note, Dr. Tufekci's UNC-Chapel Hill phone number and email are for student and faculty use only. If you would like to request an interview or arrange a speaking engagement, please follow the links and directions provided at technosociology.org. ***

BA (Sociology), Istanbul University, Turkey
Undergraduate Degree (Computer Science), Bosphorus University, Turkey
MS, PhD, University of Texas at Austin


Dr. Zeynep Tufekci is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), a principal researcher at Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP), and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

She was previously an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University.

Dr. Tufekci is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and regularly writes columns for the New York Times, WIRED, and Scientific American. She also publishes a newsletter at zeynep.substack.com.

Her book, Twitter and Teargas: The Ecstatic, Fragile Politics of Networked Protest in the 21st Century (Yale 2018), examines the dynamics, strengths, and weaknesses of 21st  century social movements. 

Dr. Tufekci’s research interests revolve around the intersection of technology and society. Her academic work focuses on social movements and civics, privacy and surveillance, and social interaction. She has become a go-to source for national and international media outlets looking for insights on the impact of social media and the growing influence of machine algorithms.

She has given three TED Talks and frequently delivers keynote addresses at conferences, including the 2019 Digital Humanities Fair at UC Berkeley and the 2017 Open Source Summit. She has also served as a panel expert for significant events, such as the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the World Wide Web at CERN and the 2017 Nobel Week Dialogue (The Future of Truth).

Originally from Turkey, and formerly a computer programmer, Dr. Tufekci became interested in the social impacts of technology and began to focus on how digital and computational technology interact with social, political and cultural dynamics.

Courses Regularly Taught: 
089: First Year Seminar: Social Movements and New Media
690-189: Big Data, Algorithms, and Society

Awards and Recognition:

Faculty Associate, Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, 2012-Present

Andrew Carnegie Fellow, 2015-2016

Public Sociology Award, American Sociological Association. Communication and Information Technology Section, 2014

Fellow, Princeton University Center for Information Technology and Policy, 2012-2013

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