28 February 2012

danah boyd on social media and privacy

American social media guru Dr danah boyd spoke at RMIT University as part of a series of lectures hosted by the School of Media and Communication.


Dr boyd is known for her research and commentary on young people's role in the social media space.

Her lecture focused on how the social media environment is changing the concept of privacy.

Over the 90-minute lecture and questions session, Dr boyd presented her theories on how young people use social media to define themselves, their friendship circles, the idea of privacy and how the online environment and the technologies used to access it can be better used for communicating.

According to Dr boyd, young social media users' concept of privacy revolves around the idea of sharing with those they trust.

When private information is shared in a public forum, the theme of the new privacy comes through with the idea.

"Just because something is publicly accessible public, it doesn't mean it was meant for you," she said.

Dr boyd presented the idea that young people "navigate their private feelings in plain sight" using "social steganography" to communicate private ideas and feelings in a public forum to a select audience of friends.

The lecture was introduced by Professor Stuart Cunningham, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, who highlighted the importance of the cross-institutional collaboration.

You can hear the full lecture and questions and answers via RMIT's Talking Technology podcast series.

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