My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder of Data & Society. I'm also a Visiting Professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. I am an academic and a scholar and my research examines the intersection between technology and society.

For over a decade, my research focused on how young people use social media as part of their everyday practices. I wrote It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014) to document my findings.

I also co-authored two books - Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (2009) and Participatory Culture in a Networked Era (2015) to highlight different aspects of that work.

More recently, I have turned to focus on the social and cultural dimensions of the "big data" phenomenon, with an eye to issues like privacy and publicity, data(mis)interpretation, and the civil rights implications of data analytics. This is core to the mandate of Data & Society, a research institute that I founded in 2013 and currently run.

In 2008, I completed my PhD at the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California-Berkeley. My research was supervised by a most astonishing committee: Mimi Ito, Annalee Saxenian, Cori Hayden, and Jenna Burrell. My beloved PhD advisor - Peter Lyman - lost his battle with brain cancer in July 2007. I miss him dreadfully.

I did my Master's Degree at the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group with Judith Donath (supervised also by Henry Jenkins and Genevieve Bell). My master's thesis focused on how people manage their presentation of self in relation to social contextual information in online environments. As an undergraduate, I studied computer science at Brown University, advised by Andy van Dam. My undergrad thesis focused on how prioritization of depth cues is dependent on levels of sex hormones in the body and how this affects engagement with virtual reality.

Outside of academia, I have worked at various non-profits and corporations. I'm on the board of Crisis Text Line, an amazing organization dedicated to supporting young people in crisis through text messaging. I'm also a Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, a Smithsonian cultural heritage institution. For five years, I worked at V-Day, an organization working to end violence against women and girls worldwide.

On the web, I'm known for two things: maintaining an Ani DiFranco lyrics site and blogging prolifically. I love music, dancing, politics, reading, and all things fuzzy. At my core, I'm both an activist and a scholar. I'm also a mom to two kids.
  • JoinedNovember 7, 2015


Story by danahboyd
It's Complicated by danahboyd
It's Complicated Non-Fiction
What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens' lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expe...