danah boyd

danah boyd

Scholar Title:

Partner Researcher, Microsoft Research
Founder, Data & Society

Colleges / Universities: Microsoft New England Research & Development Center


One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142

Email: zephoria@zephoria.org

Blog: Apophenia

danah boyd is a Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder of Data & Society. Dr. boyd's research focuses on the intersection of technology and society, with an eye to how structural inequities shape and are shaped by technologies. She is currently conducting a multi-year ethnographic study of the U.S. census to understand how data are made legitimate. Her previous studies have focused on media manipulation, algorithmic bias, privacy practices, social media, and teen culture.

Dr. boyd has published multiple books, dozens of papers, hundreds of essays, and given countless talks. Her monograph It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens has received widespread praise from scholars, parents, and journalists and has been translated into 7 languages. As the founder of the independent research institute Data & Society, Dr. boyd has supported the development of research initiatives on topics as varied as ethics in computing, fairness in machine learning, algorithmic accountability, surveillance studies, disinformation, future of labor, and AI on the ground.

Dr. boyd received her doctorate in 2008 from the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. boyd's dissertation project, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, analyzed how American youth use networked publics such as MySpace and Facebook for sociable purposes. 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.

Dr. boyd is a Director of Crisis Text Line. She sits on advisory boards for Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Brown University Department of Computer Science. She was selected by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to receive a 2019 Pioneer/Barlow Award and by the American Sociology Association to win the 2010 CITASA Award for Public Sociology. The Financial Times dubbed Dr. boyd "The High Priestess of Internet Friendship" while Fortune Magazine identified her as the “smartest academic in tech.” She was identified as one of Technology Review's 2010 Young Innovators under 35 and selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2011 Young Global Leader. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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.


B.S. Brown University


Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley