Category Archives: boyd

What Privacy Means for the Modern World

Public discourse around privacy often centers on hiding or opting out of public environments, whereas scholars and engineers often focus more on controlling the flow of information. These can both be helpful ways of thinking about privacy, but as philosopher Helen Nissenbaum astutely notes, privacy is always rooted in context  (Boyd 60). In this quote […] Continue reading

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Having Something to Hide in the Social Media Age

“she has started creating a ‘light version’ of her life that she’ll regularly share on Facebook just so that her friends don’t pester her about what’s actually happening. Much to her frustration, she finds that sharing at least a little bit affords her more privacy than sharing nothing at all.” (Boyd 74). In this social-media […] Continue reading

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Social Media Is Basically Spy Training

“Rather than finding privacy by controlling access to content, many teens are instead controlling access to meaning.” (Boyd, 76) Discussing this quote leads to some of the key differences between cryptography and steganography. While teens are openly publishing messages, only those with the requisite information and context required to decipher what the messages are saying […] Continue reading

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The Ethics of Invading Privacy

“For example, even when two people happen to be sitting across from each other on the subway, social norms dictate that they should not stare at each other or insert themselves into the other’s conversations. Of course, people still do these things, but they also feel a social responsibility to avert their eyes and pretend […] Continue reading

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In Public but Unpublic

In It’s Complicated, boyd wrote: “there’s  a big difference between being in public and being public… mere participation in social media can blur these two dynamics.” I especially like the author’s analogy between a subway conversation and a social media post online. While both contents are in public, neither is being public. A subway conversation, while audible to those around, is meant to be […] Continue reading

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Why Are Adults so Bad at Social Media?

“Controlling a social situation in an effort to achieve privacy is neither easy nor obvious. Doing so requires power, knowledge, and skills… Second, people must have a reasonable understanding of the social situation and context in which they are operating.” In this part of the chapter, boyd discusses how privacy can be achieved by taking […] Continue reading

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The Debate of Privacy Among Different Generations

“Teens will regularly share things widely on Facebook simply because they see no reason to make the effort to make those pieces of content private” (Boyd 62). In Chapter 2 in Boyd’s novel, I find this quote to be very relatable. While I do not consider myself an active poster on Facebook, this applies to […] Continue reading

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Worry is a misuse of your imagination

“Teens often grow frustrated with adult assumptions that suggest that they are part of a generation that has eschewed privacy in order to participate in social media.” I would agree that there definitely is a social pressure to “post nice pictures” on Instagram or Facebook or VSCO because there’s a recurring saying among users that […] Continue reading

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