My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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Archive

New White House Report on Big Data

I’m delighted to see that the White House has just released its report on “big data” — “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values” along with an amazing collection of supporting documents. This report is the culmination of a 90-day review by the Administration, spearheaded by Counselor John Podesta. I’ve had the fortune to be a […]

Six Provocations for Big Data

The era of “Big Data” has begun. Computer scientists, physicists, economists, mathematicians, political scientists, bio-informaticists, sociologists, and many others are clamoring for access to the massive quantities of information produced by and about people, things, and their interactions. Diverse groups argue about the potential benefits and costs of analyzing information from Twitter, Google, Verizon, 23andMe, […]

“Privacy and Publicity in the Context of Big Data”

I gave today’s opening keynote at the WWW Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.  My talk was about methodological and ethical issues involved in the study of Big Data, focusing heavily on privacy issues in light of public data.  The first third focuses on four important arguments: 1) Bigger Data are Not Always Better Data; 2) Not […]

Big Data: Opportunities for Computational and Social Sciences

Scott Golder recently wrote blog post at Cloudera entitled “Scaling Social Science with Hadoop” where he accounts for “how social scientists are using large scale computation.” He begins with a delightful quote from George Homans: The methods of social science are dear in time and money and getting dearer every day. He then turns to […]

Your Data is Being Manipulated

Excerpt from “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” Sergey Brin and Larry Page (April 1998) What follows is the crib from my keynote at the 2017 Strata Data Conference in New York City. Full video can be found here.  In 1998, two graduate students at Stanford decided to try to “fix” the problems with major search engines. Sergey […]

“Facebook and academic performance: Reconciling a media sensation with data”

Joyfully Geeking Out

In 2015, I was invited to join the Commerce Department’s Data Advisory Council. Truth be told, I was kinda oblivious to what this was all about. I didn’t know much about how the government functioned. I didn’t know what a “FACA” was. (Turns out that the “Federal Advisory Committee Act” is a formal government thing.) […]

Where Do We Find Ethics?

I was in elementary school, watching the TV live, when the Challenger exploded. My classmates and I were stunned and confused by what we saw. With the logic of a 9-year-old, I wrote a report on O-rings, trying desperately to make sense of a science I did not know and a public outcry that I […]

It’s not Cyberspace anymore

It’s been 20 years — 20 years!? — since John Perry Barlow wrote “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” — a rant in response to the government and corporate leaders who descend on a certain snowy resort town each year as part of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Picture that pamphleteering with me for a moment… Governments of the Industrial […]

My name is danah and I’m a stats addict.

I love data and I hate stats. Not stats in abstract — statistics are great — but the kind of stats that seem to accompany any web activity. Number of followers, number of readers, number of viewers, etc. I hate them in the way that an addict hates that which she loves the most. My pulse quickens as I […]