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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tonite on O’Reilly Factor

I just finished taping a segment for tonight’s O’Reilly Factor talking about MySpace. I am actually surprised at how calm the conversation was. Relatively controversy free. Of course, it’s still about the scary side, but i think it came out OK. O’Reilly even introduced the town square metaphor for me, helping me explain that teens are doing what they’ve always done in public spaces.

Anyhow, if anyone watches it, tell me how it came out since i won’t get a chance to see it live.

Update:

I still haven’t seen the show, but some folks took pictures and put them up on Flickr which lets me at least see what i looked like (cuz i didn’t get to see anything during filming). Apparently i’m a cultural anthropologist! I don’t quite know how i got that label, but it is indeed an ist! Anyhow, i’m really rather humored by all of this. My mother, brother, aunt and grandparents are equally humored. I managed to survive one of the most conservative and controversial TV figures unscathed. Who would’ve guessed?

Update 2: I just put a copy of my segment up on You Tube. Enjoy!

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53 comments to tonite on O’Reilly Factor

  • MDA

    Danah,
    Just saw your interview on the O’Reilly show. Looked you up on google. Haven’t seen many cultural anthropologists do interviews on social issues. Cetainly appropriate. You came across very well. Appeared knowledgeable. Good job.
    MDA, Ph.D., ABPP
    Clinical Psychologist

  • O’Reilly: Why don’t they just talk to each other on the phone???

    How did you manage not to laugh in his face?

    Other than that, I think you did a good job. Bill clearly had an agenda which I think you didn’t get sucked into.

    I left a comment in a thread about the student protest a couple of days ago that seems not to have been posted. If you have any info on the use of MySpace for political organizing, I would appreciate a link. Also anything relating to MySpace as it fits into the media universe. You can reach me at News Corpse

  • Steve Daniels

    Danah,

    I just watched your segment and was quite impressed. I am a big fan of O’Reilly. You came off well. Email me back if you have time. What is “apophenia”?

    Steve

  • Wow danah,

    Glad I checked your site today. I have a season pass on my TiVo for O’Reilly, so there you were when I got home!

    I’m very impressed with you on that man’s show. You responded calmly, even to the stupid questions and avoided any sort of confrontation. I guess you have a lot of practice.

    I also learned something about Bill O’Reilly that shouldn’t have really surprised me: he supports child pornography!! as long as the kid is getting paid for it

    Here’s a quote:

    “The problem here is these dopey kids get on there and they give out all kinds of personal information about themselves, and as this troubled 16 year old in Rhode Island did, takes a naked picture of herself and puts it on there for NO reason. She’s not makin any money doing it. It’s a cry for help, obviously.”

    “Why would this girl put a naked picture of herself on the web?”

    ——- money part of the interview at the end, wherein O’Reilly GETS IT! ——–

    danah’s awesome quote (in response to Bill asking why they don’t just hang out on the phone):

    d: “the reality is that they would probably prefer to hang out in physical spaces with each other, but they’re not allowed to. most parents have restricted kids from even going out and biking around the neighborhood because of the fear of safety.”

    bo: “Now THAT’s interesting. So this has become the new town square? This mypage business.”

  • Danah,
    I caught your spot on the O’Reilly Factor tonight, and I thought you carried yourself and made your points very well. The conversation progressed in a civil manner, and in the end, I think you won O’Reilly over to your point of view–Brava!

    Mary Ellen

  • apophenia_monkey

    missed o’reilly but heard you speak at eTech. hoping it’ll run later or it’ll stream.

    apophenia–perhaps there are no accidents or coincidences?

    /chuckles

  • Heather Fell

    Whoa – congratulations! Hope that they put up a streaming version so I can see it for myself.

    I’ll be sure to address you as “Danah Boyd, cultural anthropologist” next time I see you (soon, I hope!).

  • danah,

    well done. humored indeed.

    i think you should definitely be awarded 5 points for making it past this guy unscathed.

  • pjm

    Some years ago, I was on a TV show with the words “nutrition expert” under my name. Anyone who’s ever seen me eat can testify that the label was sheer fantasy on the part of some assistant producer…

    Congratulations on getting your point across.

  • alex

    good job on the O’Reily show. Why all the hatred for the guy? this blog makes it sound like you survived a shark attack.

  • Congrats!

    Your smile seemed mischievous like you were planning some kind of subversion. Is there a fun backstory about who was around, what the discussion was, etc?

  • Tony

    U so crazy!;P

    Well, a surprising good appearance ,considering who u were chatting with.

  • f**k, you went toe-to-toe with Bill O’Reilly??

    Wow, you’re a braver women then me (well, I’m a man, but you get what I mean).

    I’m off to find it on bit torrent…

  • Oh wow I upset that I missed this. I will have to find it online (if someone knows where to find it send me a link).

    This is Awesome!!!!

    Congrats Danah

  • It shouldn’t be so surprising that O’reilly had his gloves off, Fox News and Myspace are both owned by Murdoch.

  • ZF

    You ‘survived’ the guy because he’s more decent and civil than you had assumed.

    If you spent more time talking to people outside Berkeley you might have been less surprised.

  • dammit, i don’t *EVER* watch the fox news channel. i’m mad i missed ya. i hope it makes its way to the web :-).

  • AJ

    Someone please upload this interview to YouTube

  • Holy shit! A cruise boat capsized?!

  • Marcela

    Oh–wish we had had more advance notice. My punishment for only checking your blog a few times a week. Let us know if you find the transcript.

  • The conversation with O’Reilly was more civilized than I expected. The insights you shared about why young people find MySpace so appealing probably helped a lot of parents understand their kids better. Great job!

  • Congratulations Danah 🙂 Good Job!

  • love your site, you do very good work.
    Someone should do some research, and find out how many times, if ever, a guest on Bill’s show has made him think with reason and give him pause to see thru his cloud of bias, and say, “hmm, that’s interesting.”

    Seriously, that was great.

  • Congrats, Danah. At Eastwick we’ve been talking about the “anthropologist” as a new job function in the world of PR and corporate communication. The work you are doing in social media is helping us to navigate the way. And now that you have survived the O’Reilly factor, you will have cross-cultural appeal (well maybe). 🙂

    PS — I studied cultural anthropology (and religion) as an undergrad, back in the days when people like Gregory Bateson were beginning to redefine the field. It’s nice to see how broadly we are now thinking about this field. We are the “natives.”

  • Just saw the videofeed on your blog (would never have seen int otherwise since I never watch fox news) You did a great job of stearing things away from sensationalization. You also seemed very relaxed and confident.

  • I just saw your O’Reilly interview on You Tube. You definitely handled the �dopey kids� remark well. That�s the point where I would have been sucked in. Good job.

  • Danah congratulations on a fine job on TV and surviving a “Factor” appearance unscathed.

    O’Reilly was uncharacteristically even handed which reflects well on your treatment of this complex topic … perhaps the fact he’s and employee/beneficiary of Myspace parent FOX?

  • Wow, not only did you do a great job in the interview, but the segment as a whole is actually educational / informative (e.g., rather than just being crafted into another emotion-manipulating moment of TV bad “news”).

    Hm, I guess Fox might have some deeper motives to show a viewpoint about Myspace that recognizes it as non-evil…

  • AJ

    Thanks for the YouTube link – it was a pretty good interview. It’s clear how uneducated older people are about the Internet and how unprepared he was for this interview – the idiot couldn’t even say mySpace.

    You handled it well.

  • Trevor Richards

    Congrats!

    It seemed like you actually got O’Reilly to engage in a constructive dialog .. a rare occurrence.

    Glad our visits to SXSW Interactive are helping keep some of us older people relevant

  • I quite liked the segment Danah. I’ve been a fan of your brilliance since I discovered you through a friend on Orkut last fall.

    I liked the interview and I’m glad to see it went so well. (Though it would have been awesome if he yelled to have them cut your microphone Jeremy Glick style).

  • Have Bill O’Reilly recite back your “public space” idea was profoundly satisfying.

    I wonder when the old generation will realize how much better organized the new generation is, and get scared.

  • Vandy

    Thanks to your post I Tivo-ed it …. and got around towatching it a whileago — it was good — rather you were better than him … never liked him …. but then FNC+Fox+Myspace all owned by Rupert Murdhoch ….

    it seemed like a big PR … to say its a good hangout place where bad does happen — well isn’t that what makes it fun to this demographic?

  • Sam Kaufman

    I just saw your O’Reilly segement. Excellent work.

  • danah,
    your writing, presentations (enjoyed your take on the Gorman-bloggers affair) and blogging (and now your TV appearance) are digital outreach. cultural anthropologist is too narrow: how about new media informationist?

    one thing i’m interested in is performativity and new media for librarians, and dealing with questions from traditional media (like you did with O’Reilly – it bugged me that he kept interrupting). when CBC here in Canada got hold of a story involving an editorial i wrote for the british medical journal, i was on the news and tv. from a shy, mild-mannered librarian to a new media medical informationist!

    it freaked me out. it was both exhilirating, and extremely scary. it was the adrenalin rush of pushing my ideas through, and that people thought them worth discussing. it’s this aspect of the web that is addictive: being heard.

    in myspace, it’s little wonder that teens find the performance aspect enthralling. it’s the digital equivalent of coming out

    Dean
    ps. sorry i missed you in vancouver

  • You did a very nice job with Bill. I have seen him be a dick to a number of guests but you realy did a superb job making your points. I was proud of you!
    RCM

  • strike one against moral panics – well done!

    but danah, i’d really like your thoughts on this comment above:

    ‘At Eastwick we’ve been talking about the “anthropologist” as a new job function in the world of PR and corporate communication. The work you are doing in social media is helping us to navigate the way.’

    and i’m curious to know if you were given the opportunity to self-identify during the show?

  • Nope – they declared me a “cultural anthropologist” in the text but i never speak about what i do in the interview.

  • anthropomorphic_jackalope

    Wow, well done. What I think it all came down to is how utterly out of touch O’Reilly and probably most in his age group are with the youth of today.
    He was spending more time trying to indict the “kids” than to just understand what he was talking about. “Mehh, what about the drugs? and the sex and the violence?” well, you cant blame him. It would get ratings, right?

    Its much different from just a few years ago. Most people O’Reilly’s age haven’t clued in to the myriad ways that the PC has permeated everything.
    They still think that the computer is something to do turbotax, word & email with and not much more. Kids never knew a world without it.

  • Really, absolutely perfect. I’m so glad you didn’t get sucked into any kind of combative confrontation with him, as he just thrives on that. It’s a rare individual who can go on that show and have a constructive conversation with O’Reilly.

  • nick s

    It seemed like you actually got O’Reilly to engage in a constructive dialog .. a rare occurrence.

    It probably helped that his boss owns MySpace. That’s not to demean danah in any way, but that is how Murdoch works.

  • anonymous

    I suppose now is as good a time as ever to declare (anonymously) that totally have a crush on danah.

  • Heck, I don’t need to be anonymous about my crush on you. And although the YouTube link is down, from what I hear I feel comfortable saying: Job well done!

    Josh

  • Dan

    You rocked on the Factor.
    I’m not a big MySpacer, but I hate him
    solely concentrating on the negative aspects of life.
    You were linked on Blogumentary Blog.

  • I just watched your YouTube clip of the O’Reilly show. Good on ya for keeping a smooth and level voice and mind. ;o)

  • how interesting that on a network owned by Rupert Murdoch an anchor would be so enthralled with this “myspace business” when myspace just so oddly happens to be owned by Rupert Murdoch as well. O’Reilly knows very well what myspace is, I fear.

  • Nifty bit of cross-promotion for Rupert and friends at News Corp. If O’Reilly we’re truly a journalist, as he often claims, he would have provided viewers with full disclosure — MySpace and Fox News Channel are two sides of the same media colossus.

  • Don Williams

    Mr.O’Reilly, I am writeing you because I think you have more influnce than anyone I know. If Pres. Bush wants to increase his rateings and ovoid a national crisis, he could have a meeting of all the good minds from all auto manafcturing, oil producers, lesislators,and come up with solution, at least let public no that he is trying.Flying around trying to convence everone of his ideas is not working.You could get this done if you wanted too.One little idea would be to stop giveing tax credit for buying large pickups gas gugglers, and give tax credit for small auto owners. Surely in this great nation there is surely some answer, and you could be the one to start this. I havent seen anyone that does more good on TV than you, Don Williams Harrisburg Il, 63946.