Danah Boyd is a Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, and the founder of Data & Society. She's an academic and scholar whose work examines the intersection of technology and society.
Boyd's research has focused on how young people use social media daily. Her findings are documented in It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014).
Boyd has 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), which highlight different aspects of her work.
Danah Boyd grew up in Lancaster and Altoona, Pennsylvania. According to her website, she was born Danah Michele Mattas.
Danah Boyd earned her undergraduate degree in Computer Science with Honors at Brown University. She did her Master's Degree at the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group. Boyd also completed her Ph.D. in Information with a New Media Emphasis at the University of California-Berkeley in 2008.
Boyd has written numerous papers on media manipulation, algorithmic fairness, social media, privacy, teen drama/bullying, digital backchannels, and social visualization design. She's also a frequent blogger and tweeter on various topics.
Recently, Boyd has shifted her focus to understanding how contemporary social inequities relate to technology and society. She is currently working on what makes data legitimate based on her fieldwork around the 2020 US census.
Danah Boyd has also collaborated with a network of researchers at Data & Society on topics such as media manipulation, the future of work, fairness, and accountability in machine learning, combating bias in data, and cultural dynamics surrounding artificial intelligence.
Outside of academia, Boyd has worked at various non-profits and corporations. She was a founding board member of Crisis Text Line, a former Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, and a former Director of the Social Science Research Council.
She also worked at V-Day, an organization working to end violence against women and girls worldwide, where she helped build an online community to support activists.
Danah Boyd is a mother to three kids. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Photo credit: Twitter @zephoria