Visibility: The Challenges of Seeing and Being Seen in a Networked Age
Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 4:30pm
Gates Hillman Center 4401 (Rashid Auditorium)
Through social media, we can see into the lives of more people than ever before. Yet, what do the data traces that we see mean? As young people engage in social media, they are helping construct powerful networked publics, but these networked publics introduce new affordances like visibility. Visibility is both a blessing and a curse. One one hand, visibility allows people to build new connections; on the other hand, new anxieties and fears are born out of difference. Visibility introduces new opportunities to intervene, but it also introduces new concerns about the tools that are making horrible things visible. In this talk, I will draw on my ethnographic research with American youth—with a particular attention to my work on privacy, online safety, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children—to explore how the visibility brought about through social media complicates a host of socio-technical issues.
Dr. danah boyd is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a Research Fellow of the Born This Way Foundation, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her research examines the intersection of technology, society, and youth culture. Currently, she’s focused on privacy, youth meanness and cruelty, and human trafficking. She co-authored Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. She’s working on a new book called “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.”