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

social divisions between Orkut & Facebook in Brazil

I have been writing about social divisions between Facebook and MySpace for some time now, focused exclusively on American teenager dynamics. Yet, every time I post about this subject, folks write to me to ask if I know much about social divisions elsewhere in the world. Alas, I have never done fieldwork outside of the […]

Facebook privacy settings: Who cares?

Eszter Hargittai and I just published a new article in First Monday entitled: “Facebook privacy settings: Who cares?” Abstract: With over 500 million users, the decisions that Facebook makes about its privacy settings have the potential to influence many people. While its changes in this domain have often prompted privacy advocates and news media to […]

MySpace and Facebook: How Racist Language Frames Social Media (and Why You Should Care)

(This post was written for Blogher and originally posted there.) Every time I dare to talk about race or class and MySpace & Facebook in the same breath, a public explosion happens. This is the current state of things.  Unfortunately, most folks who enter the fray prefer to reject the notion that race/class shape social […]

Skin Whitening, Tanning, and Vaseline’s Controversial Facebook Ad Campaign

Growing up as a white girl in Pennsylvania, I was taught that being tan was beautiful. My wealthier classmates would go on vacations to Florida in the winter, coming back with the most glorious tans. And the moment that it started getting warm, everyone would spend excessive amounts of time outside in an effort to […]

Facebook’s Panic Button: Who’s panicking? And who’s listening?

First, I commend Facebook for taking child safety seriously. When I was working with them as part of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, I was always impressed by their concern. I think that there’s a mistaken belief that Facebook doesn’t care about child safety. This was the message that many propagated when Facebook balked […]

Deception + fear + humiliation != education

I hate fear-based approaches to education. I grew up on the “this is your brain on drugs” messages and watched classmates go from being afraid of drugs to trying marijuana to deciding that all of the messages about drugs were idiotic. (Crystal meth and marijuana shouldn’t be in the same category.) Much to my frustration, […]

Pew Research confirms that youth care about their reputation

In today’s discussions about privacy, “youth don’t care about privacy” is an irritating but popular myth. Embedded in this rhetoric is the belief that youth are reckless risk-takers who don’t care about the consequences of their actions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In my own work, I’ve found that teenagers care deeply about […]

Quitting Facebook is pointless; challenging them to do better is not

I’ve been critiquing moves made by Facebook for a long time and I’m pretty used to them being misinterpreted. When I lamented the development of the News Feed, many people believed that I thought that the technology was a failure and that it wouldn’t be popular. This was patently untrue. I was bothered by it […]

Public by Default, Private when Necessary

This post was originally written for the DML Central Blog. If you’re interested in Digital Media and Learning, you definitely want to check this blog out. With Facebook systematically dismantling its revered privacy infrastructure, I think it’s important to drill down on the issue of privacy as it relates to teens. There’s an assumption that […]

Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook’s Data in Context