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

There was a bomb on my block.

I live in Manhattan, in Chelsea, on 27th Street between 6th and 7th, the same block in which the second IED was found. It was a surreal weekend, but it is increasingly becoming depressing as the media moves from providing information to stoking fear, the exact response that makes these events so effective. I’m not […]

Keeping Teens ‘Private’ on Facebook Won’t Protect Them

(Originally written for TIME Magazine) We’re afraid of and afraid for teenagers. And nothing brings out this dualism more than discussions of how and when teens should be allowed to participate in public life. Last week, Facebook made changes to teens’ content-sharing options. They introduced the opportunity for those ages 13 to 17 to share their updates and […]

Addressing Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Technological Interventions

Two years ago, when I started working on issues related to human trafficking and technology, I was frustrated by how few people recognized the potential of technology to help address the commercial sexual exploitation of children. With the help of a few colleagues at Microsoft Research, I crafted a framework document to think through the […]

Three conversations for parents: navigating networked publics

This post was originally written for A Platform For Good.org, a new site dedicated to creating opportunities for young people and adults to engage with technology in a healthy way. Parenting is hard. Many parents find parenting in an era of social media to be confusing, in part because they must advise their children to […]

Stop the Cycle of Bullying

[John Palfrey and I originally wrote this as an op-ed for the Huffington Post. See HuffPo for more comments.] On 22 September 2010, the wallet of Tyler Clementi – a gay freshman at Rutgers University – was found on the George Washington Bridge; his body was found in the Hudson River the following week. His […]

How Parents Normalized Teen Password Sharing

In 2005, I started asking teenagers about their password habits. My original set of questions focused on teens’ attitudes about giving their password to their parents, but I quickly became enamored with teens’ stories of sharing passwords with friends and significant others. So I was ecstatic when Pew Internet & American Life Project decided to […]

Four Difficult Questions Regarding Bullying and Youth Suicide

Over the last couple of years, I’ve laid awake at night asking myself uncomfortable questions about bullying and teen suicide. I don’t have answers to most of the questions that I have, but I’m choosing to voice my questions, fears, and doubts because I’m not confident that our war on bullying is taking us down […]

Why Parents Help Children Violate Facebook’s 13+ Rule

Announcing new journal article: “Why Parents Help Their Children Lie to Facebook About Age: Unintended Consequences of the ‘Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’” by danah boyd, Eszter Hargittai, Jason Schultz, and John Palfrey, First Monday. “At what age should I let my child join Facebook?” This is a question that countless parents have asked my […]

The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric

We all know that teen bullying – both online and offline – has devastating consequences. Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide is a tragedy. He was tormented for being gay. He knew he was being bullied and he regularly talked about the fact that he was being bullied. Online, he even wrote: “I always say how bullied I […]

“Real Names” Policies Are an Abuse of Power

Everyone’s abuzz with the “nymwars,” mostly in response to Google Plus’ decision to enforce its “real names” policy. At first, Google Plus went on a deleting spree, killing off accounts that violated its policy. When the community reacted with outrage, Google Plus leaders tried to calm the anger by detailing their “new and improved” mechanism […]