1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Robertson Professor of Modern Media Studies

209 Wilson Hall

Office Hours:

By appointment. Please email to set up a time for a voice or video meeting.


Class Schedule:

MDST 3559 Media Law - MWF (asynchronous)


Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia.

He is the author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy  (Oxford University Press, 2018). He also wrote Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), and The Googlization of Everything -- and Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011). He has written two previous books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn Thomas) the collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Vaidhyanathan directs the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, which hosts a Democracy Lab, produces  several podcasts, and the Virginia Quarterly Review magazine. He has appeared in an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss early social network services. Vaidhyanathan has appeared in several documentary films, including Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013), Inside the Mind of Google (2009), and Freedom of Expression (2007). In 2016 Vaidhyanathan played a prominent role in the higher-education documentary, Starving the Beast. Vaidhyanathan was portrayed as a character on stage at the Public Theater in New York City in a play called Privacy (2016). Vaidhyanathan served on the board of the Digital Public Library of America. from 2012 through 2018.

Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bloomberg View, IEEE Spectrum, American Scholar, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, Slate.com, BookForum, Columbia Journalism Review, Washington Post, Esquire.com, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Book Review, and The Nation. He is a frequent contributor to public radio programs. And he has appeared on news programs on BBC, CNN, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and ABC. He is currently a regular columnist for The Guardian.

After five years as a professional journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Vaidhyanathan has also taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, McMaster University, and the University of Amsterdam. He is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.


For speaking inquiries, please contact Siva's speaking agents at https://www.pandelectures.com/#/siva-vaidhyanathan/


Regular columns from The Guardian

10/18/2019 - "Mark Zuckerberg doesn't understand free speech in the 21st century"

08/15/2019 - "A world overrun by white nationalists needs a good rock and roll film"

08/06/2019 - "From Trump to Fox News to 8chan: the web of white supremacist rhetoric is wide"

07/26/2019 - "Billion-dollar fines can't stop Google and Facebook. That's peanuts for them"

07/09/2019 - "Facebook is ripe for exploitation – again – in 2020" 

06/18/2019 - "Facebook's Libra launch will extend its global domination"

04/28/2019 - "Regulating Facebook will be one of the greatest challenges in human history"

03/018/2019 - "Facebook's privacy meltdown after Cambridge Analytica is far from over"

03/07/2019 - "Facebook’s new move isn't about privacy. It’s about domination"

02/04/2019 - "Dear Mr Zuckerberg: the problem isn't the internet, it's Facebook"


Antisocial Media

Oxford University Press, Jun 2018

Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press, Mar 2017

The Googlization of Everything

University of California Press, Mar 2011

The Anarchist in the Library

Basic Books, May 2005

Copyrights and Copywrongs

NYU Press, Aug 2001