danah boyd explains the connection between the epistemological crisis and the rise of far-right conspiratorial thinking

Back in 2017, I started writing about the "epistemological crisis" ("we're not living through a crisis about what is true, we're living through a crisis about how we know whether something is true. We're not disagreeing about facts, we're disagreeing about epistemology"); danah boyd picked up on that theme later that year, making the connection…

Free download of danah boyd's must-read book "It's Complicated"

danah boyd has posted a free PDF of the full text of her must-read book It's Complicated, the best book about young people and the Internet I've read to date. boyd hopes you'll enjoy the book and then support her and her publisher by buying a copy, sending a signal "that this book is important,…

danah boyd on a nuanced understanding of privacy in the networked age

Sociologist danah boyd has posted her responses to a Wall Street Journal debate on privacy that included Stewart Baker, Jeff Jarvis, and Chris Soghoian. Boyd's responses are nuanced, evidence-based, and humane, and get well past the "privacy is dead" and "kids don't care about privacy, or they wouldn't be using Facebook" simplifications. As ever, she…

danah boyd: "Guilt Through Algorithmic Association"

Snip from a thought-provoking post by danah boyd: You're a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you're a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes "is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?" and "Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda." Google's search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete…

danah boyd explains email sabbaticals

Many years ago, danah boyd taught me her fool-proof method for an email-free holiday — a procedure for switching off your email while on vacation, without offending your co-workers, friends, and correspondents. I've used danah's method ever since, and I swear by it: being able to go on holiday from my email and knowing that…

danah boyd: Craigslist's "Adult Services" takedown actually hurts victims of abuse, sex trafficking

In a Huffington Post op-ed, danah boyd argues that pressure to censor Craigslist, which recently resulted in the company's removal of its "adult services" section for users in the United States, actually "helps pimps, child traffickers and other abusive scumbags." As a victim of violence myself, I'm deeply committed to destroying any institution or individual…

The great Vaseline skin-whitening controversy of 2010: danah boyd weighs in

"What intrigues me the most about the anti-Vaseline discourse is that it seems to be Americans telling the global south (which is mostly in the northern hemisphere) that they're being oppressed by American companies. The narrative is that Vaseline is selling whitening products to perpetuate colonial ideals of beauty. In the story that I'm reading,…

Facebook and "radical transparency": a rant by danah boyd

danah boyd has published a thoughtful and extensive rant about Facebook's slow-mo implosion of user trust, data privacy, and UI transparency: A while back, I was talking with a teenage girl about her privacy settings and noticed that she had made lots of content available to friends-of-friends. I asked her if she made her content…

How kids use the net now, from danah boyd

Teen net-researcher danah boyd (@zephoria) has been taking parental questions about teens' use of the net on Twitter and here are her responses: @mirroredpool: What borders to teens place of social networking sites and education? How would they react to using an SNS to do class work? @annejonas: i'm curious if they want schools involved…

Social media's history and trajectory — talk notes from danah boyd

Astute social media researcher danah boyd — now running her own lab at Microsoft Research — has published the notes from an internal company talk she gave called "Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?" It's a good condensation of the material in her dissertation, full of punchy insights into how social media evolved…

danah boyd's PhD thesis: Teen sociality online

Dr danah boyd's newly-minted PhD from UC Berkeley was awarded based on her fantastic thesis project, "Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics." danah's ground-breaking research on how kids (especially marginal kids) use the Internet has been featured here a lot — she was one of the contributors to Mimi Ito's gigantic…

Danah boyd's ETECH talk: geeks should learn from "muggles"

Danah boyd's morning keynote at the O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference was called "Incantations for Muggles: The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life." Danah started with the premise that we treat techies as the people who understand technology best, but that maybe it's the naifs — kids, disenfranchised people, techno have-nots — who…

danah boyd on Facebook's "privacy trainwreck"

danah boyd has an interesting essay analyzing Facebook's recent privacy cock-up. In the tech world, we have a bad tendency to view the concept of "private" as a single bit that is either 0 or 1. Either it's exposed or not. When companies make a decision to make data visible in a more "efficient" manner,…