danah boyd

Senior Researcher: Microsoft Research New England

Area of Expertise:

The intersection of social media and youth culture;
privacy and publicity;
bullying and online safety

danah is a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She recently completed her PhD in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley. danah’s dissertation project, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, analyzes how American youth use networked publics for sociable purposes. She examined the role that social network sites like MySpace and Facebook play in everyday teen interactions and social relations. She was interested in how mediated environments alter the structural conditions in which teens operate, forcing them to manage complex dynamics like interacting before invisible audiences, managing context collisions, and negotiating the convergence of public and private life. This work was funded by the MacArthur Foundation as part of a broader grant on digital youth and informal learning. The findings of the broader team are documented in a co-authored book: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. At the Berkman Center, danah co-directed the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to work with companies and non-profits to identify potential technical solutions for keeping children safe online. This Task Force was formed by the U.S. Attorneys General and MySpace and is being organized by the Berkman Center. Currently, danah is co-directing the Youth Media and Policy Working Group, funded by MacArthur. danah received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brown University and a master’s degree in sociable media from MIT Media Lab. She has worked as an ethnographer and social media researcher for various corporations, including Intel, Tribe.net, Google, and Yahoo! She also created and managed a large online community for V-Day, a non-profit organization working to end violence against women and girls worldwide. danah maintains a blog on social media called Apophenia – http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/