Le Web: danah boyd on Social Network Visibility
Your experience of the social web is not the same as everyone else’s. Your experience of the web is shaped by the people you chose to follow, and those who choose to follow others will have vastly different experiences.
So, [danah](http://www.zephoria.org/), as a sociologist, actively strives to looks at environments beyond her own.
She gives the example of a student who applied to an Ivy League in the US, who submitted a great application, but his MySpace page was that of a typical gang member. He is trying to survive where he is, but aspiring to be elsewhere – and the admissions tutor struggled to accept that dichotomy and assumed he was lying.
Another example: a father who say his daughter’s social network profile, and on it was a quiz. That quiz gave you the answer to “what drug are you?”. His daughter was cocaine – but instead of blowing up, he opened a conversation about it with her.
Jane Jacob’s idea of “eyes on the street” – community watchfulness. Ideas of privacy as a safety construct in a public space?
“As I wonder the web looking at what’s going on, I see kids calling out, begging for help”.
Some parents believe that the internet has created a new level of bullying – but it hasn’t. It’s just made more visible by the internet. This is a call to action – how do we make sense of it?
People have a crisis moment when technology makes visible things they are not comfortable with (for good or ill – one example was triggered racism around Black Entertainment awards).
The illegal has existing methods for getting rid of it. It’s those things where people need help we need to think about. How do we get social services involved.
“We need to embrace and deal with the visibility… Think about what you can see now that you could never see before and what you can do about it.”
[More notes on Stephanie’s blog](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2009/12/10/leweb09-danah-boyd/).
Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.