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

What If Social Media Becomes 16-Plus? New battles concerning age of consent emerge in Europe

At what age should children be allowed to access the internet without parental oversight? This is a hairy question that raises all sorts of issues about rights, freedoms, morality, skills, and cognitive capability. Cultural values also come into play full force on this one. Consider, for example, that in the 1800s, the age of sexual […]

New book: Participatory Culture in a Networked Era by Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, and me!

In 2012, Henry Jenkins approached Mimi Ito and I with a crazy idea that he’d gotten from talking to the folks at Polity. Would we like to sit down and talk through our research and use that as the basis of a book? I couldn’t think of anything more awesome than spending time with two […]

An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media

In the days that followed Andrew Watts’ “A Teenager’s View on Social Media written by an actual teen” post, dozens of people sent me a link. I found myself getting uncomfortable and angry by the folks who are pointing me to this. I feel the need to offer my perspective as someone who is not […]

The Cost of Contemporary Policing: A Review of Alice Goffman’s ‘On the Run’

Growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the 80s and 90s, I had a pretty strong sense of fear and hatred for cops. I got to witness corruption and intimidation first hand, and I despised the hypocritical nature of the “PoPo.” As a teen, I worked at Subway. Whenever I had a late shift, I could […]

‘Selling Out’ Is Meaningless: Teens live in the commercial world we created

In the recent Frontline documentary “Generation Like,” Doug Rushkoff lamented that today’s youth don’t even know what the term “sell-out” means. While this surprised Rushkoff and other fuddy duddies, it didn’t make me blink for a second. Of course this term means nothing to them. Why do we think it should? The critique of today’s teens has two […]

Rule #1: Do no harm.

Rule #2: Fear-mongering causes harm. I believe in the enterprise of journalism, even when it lets me down in practice. The fourth estate is critically important for holding systems of power accountable. But what happens when journalists do harm? On Sunday, a salacious article flew across numerous news channels. In print, it was given titles […]

Whether it’s bikes or bytes, teens are teens

(This piece was written for the LA Times, where it was published as an op-ed on April 11, 2014.) If you’re like most middle-class parents, you’ve probably gotten annoyed with your daughter for constantly checking her Instagram feed or with your son for his two-thumbed texting at the dinner table. But before you rage against […]

Why Snapchat is Valuable: It’s All About Attention

Most people who encounter a link to this post will never read beyond this paragraph. Heck, most people who encountered a link to this post didn’t click on the link to begin with. They simply saw the headline, took note that someone over 30 thinks that maybe Snapchat is important, and moved onto the next […]

TIME Magazine Op-Ed: Let Kids Run Wild Online

I wrote the following op-ed for TIME Magazine. This was published in the March 13, 2014 issue under the title “Let Kids Run Wild Online.” To my surprise and delight, the op-ed was featured on the cover of the magazine. Trapped by helicopter parents and desperate to carve out a space of their own, teens […]

What’s Behind the Free PDF of “It’s Complicated” (no, no, not malware…)

As promised, I put a free PDF copy of “It’s Complicated” on my website the day the book officially launched. But as some folks noticed, I didn’t publicize this when I did so. For those who are curious as to why, I want to explain. And I want you to understand the various issues at […]