I was featured in Reuters for this article about the rise in neo-Nazi, far-right violence.

An excerpt:

As recently as the 1990s, white nationalist groups held demonstrations in small towns that were spectacles but usually peaceful, said Will Potter, a University of Michigan fellow and journalist who tracks domestic terrorist groups and civil rights.

More recently, he said, right-wing groups have taken to carrying guns and marching in bigger cities.

“It’s just escalated in the last few months: the rhetoric of these groups, their affiliations with the White House… and the shows of force on the streets,” he said.


The online course I co-created at the University of Michigan is now available online for free at Coursera! Full details below.

We are excited to
announce a new Teach-Out: Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts, which begins Monday, October 2, and we hope you will consider sharing this opportunity with your “Investigative Journalism, Spies, Traitors, Heroes” students.

In this free Teach-Out, learners will discuss how to:
  • Distinguish between “news” and other forms of information
  • Evaluate the credibility of information claims
  • Identify psychological biases and logical fallacies that influence how we interpret information
  • Critically examine a news story and identify how it was produced
Teach-Outs are short learning experiences, each focused on a specific current issue. Attendees will come together over a few days not only to learn about a subject or event but also to gain skills. Teach-Outs are open to the world and are designed to bring together individuals with wide-ranging perspectives in respectful and deep conversation. These events are an opportunity for diverse learners and a multitude of experts to ask questions of one another and explore new solutions to the pressing concerns of our global community.
Best regards,
The Academic Innovation Team


I’ll Be Addressing the European Union about Government Repression in the U.S.

June 12, 2017

I’m honored to announce that I will be delivering a keynote address at a meeting co-hosted by the European Union and Council of Europe, speaking about the rise of authoritarianism in the United States, and the threat it poses for civil liberties and democracy. I leave for Paris shortly, where I will be speaking before […]

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University of Michigan’s Free Online Course on “Fake News”

April 16, 2017

The University of Michigan has an exciting new “teach out” program, where faculty experts are creating mini courses that will available to thousands of people for free, online. It’s modeled after the “teach ins” that began at the university during the 1960s, but with a modern twist. We have the potential to reach a much […]

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Fighting the good fight for a free press

March 18, 2017

I spoke with Michigan Today about “fake news,” propaganda, and attacks on the press. You can listen to the full interview here: And here’s more from Michigan Today:

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Ag Gag Laws, Body Cam Laws, & the Right to Know

March 18, 2017

I’m honored to be speaking at the University of North Carolina Parr Center for Ethics this week, alongside Richard Myers of UNC Law: For Their Eyes Only: ag-gag laws, body cam laws, and the right to know Thursday, March 23, 6:00-7:30pm, UNC Chapel Hill — Caldwell Hall 105 Many states are passing laws that restrict […]

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A free press is a reflection of a free society

March 7, 2017

This is part of a new project at TED called “Hidden Voices.” One of my first reporting jobs was at the Texas Observer, a respected muckraking magazine in a state with its fair share of muck. The old office had a poster of a printing press on the wall with the words: “The tyrant’s foe, […]

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From Protester to Terrorist: The Mechanisms of State Repression

February 14, 2017

I’m honored to announce I’ll be delivering the Howard R. Marsh Lecture at the University of Michigan next month. Unfortunately my work is more timely than ever, as we’re witnessing a rapidly-accelerating crackdown on civil liberties and press freedoms under the Trump administration. In my lecture—”From Protester to ‘Terrorist’: The Mechanisms of State Repression—I will […]

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Andrew Solomon: “Secret prisons: a vulnerability masquerading as a defense”

February 14, 2017

There are few writers and advocates who have had such a profound impact on my work, both professionally and personally, as Andrew Solomon. I have drawn consistent inspiration from his ability to combine lyrical prose, a commitment to civil liberties and human rights advocacy, and a powerful, personal voice. And as I have spoken about […]

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Leaks, Whistleblowers, and Big Data: Collaborative Journalism Across Borders

February 13, 2017

  I’m honored to be part of this historic event at the University of Michigan this month. I’ll be hosting a discussion with the investigative journalists behind some of the biggest data leaks and whistleblowing in history. The panel includes Bastian Obermayer, who broke the Panama Papers, Edouard Perrin and Laurent Richard from France, who […]

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