Youth Communication and Privacy in the Social Media Age


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"Youth Communication and Privacy in the Social Media Age" presentation given at the American Library Association's youth privacy conference in Chicago on March 24, 2011.

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  • Youth Communication and Privacy in the Social Media Age

    1. 1. Youth Communication in the Social Media Age Nathan T. Wright / Lava Row
    2. 2. Today’s hashtag: #YOUTHPRIVACY photo via sicarr /
    3. 3. @nathantwright 33yo / 6’2” / Des Moines
    4. 5. I answer questions about the Internet.
    5. 8. 15 minutes
    6. 9. Agency Fired self in 2007 Couch
    7. 11. History How did we get here? What data is being collected?
    8. 12. (photo via misserion /
    9. 13. The last 210 years of information (+10 years) Source:
    10. 14. In the 1920s, daily newspapers had a market penetration of 123%. (photo via holia / - Wikipedia:
    11. 17. Web 1.0: Brochureware, e-commerce Web 2.0: Social networks Web 3.0: Data
    12. 18. “ Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003.” - Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, August 2010
    13. 19. Web 3.0: Main players
    14. 20. In 2000, Blockbuster declined several offers to purchase Netflix for a mere $50 million. Flickr via lighttable
    15. 21. Cisco: By 2013, video will be 93% of all consumer IP traffic and 64% of mobile. Flickr via jeffgunn
    16. 22. Much of this will be created by you and me.
    17. 23. Web 3.0: Unexpected players
    18. 24. What’s for dinner? Kraft kiosk Facial scanner serves up meal ideas for you.
    19. 25. France: Google “accidentally” plucked data from unencrypted Wi-fi networks via street cars. Photo: AP
    20. 27. Facebook Places Latitude + Longitude Altitude Heading Speed
    21. 29. Authenticity Tying online identities to real-life ones will create a safer, friendlier Internet.
    22. 30. “ Anonymity is Authenticity.” - Christopher Poole,
    23. 31. The Power of Anonymous: “Hacktivism”
    24. 32. Defining Privacy
    25. 40. Remember “Quit Facebook Day?” 27,000 Facebook users pledged to quit Facebook on May 31, 2010. Facebook is now approaching 600 million active users.
    26. 41. My privacy definition… I want control over the flow of my information. And I hate surprises.
    27. 44. How does this room define privacy?
    28. 45. How do teens define privacy? (And do they care?)
    29. 46. danah boyd Researcher at  Microsoft Research New England  and a Fellow at the  Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society “… there is no coherent definition among teens either.  The word doesn't mean anything to them.  This makes it extremely difficult to survey teens about whether they care about privacy or not, which is part of why you see such conflicting messages.” - danah boyd, October 2010
    30. 47. Offline: Private by default. Public through effort. Online: Public by default. Private through effort.
    31. 48. Teen vocabulary: Privacy. Feeling safe. In control of a situation. Trusting people and groups. An understood sense of intimacy.
    32. 49. To teens, Facebook is perceived as private in the context that it’s not full of creepers. (Like MySpace was.) But they also see it as a public space, as “that’s where everyone is.” Facebook is “everybody.” It’s a place to “be seen.”
    33. 50. Teens navigate Facebook in different ways: Some “deactivate” their accounts upon logout. This doesn’t delete anything – it prevents interaction outside of their logged in sessions. Thus, they maintain control. (Risk management) Others post, interact, and Like – then delete later. Teens are organizing “buckets” of Facebook friends, colleagues and family.
    34. 51. From a teen: “Facebook is like shouting in a crowd, Twitter is like talking in a room.” Twitter = sanctuary from Facebook drama. Unlike Facebook friending, there’s no expectation of a reciprocal “follow” on Twitter. Twitter is frivolous, lightweight and fun. Many teens lock down their accounts, share inside jokes, play games and quote lyrics among closed circles. Is Twitter their version of privacy?
    35. 52. Anonymous Q&A network. Quickly became a platform for bullying. Some teens were “self-harassing” by writing nasty comments, then answering. Why? Cry for attention. Look cool and tough. Encourage compliments.
    36. 54. New spaces: Group and proximity chat
    37. 55. Facebook’s “modern messaging” (not email) New messaging platform seamlessly combines email, SMS (text), IM and Facebook messages. No subject lines, no CC, no BCC, no Send button. Mark Zuckerberg cited conversations with teens who said email was “too slow.” Beluga acquisition will factor into this.
    38. 56. Do teens use email? Email is the least used of the communication forms examined. When compared with use in 2006, daily email use has declined slightly from 15% of internet users to 11% of internet users in 2009. Fully 41% of all teens say that they never use email when communicating with their peers outside of school. While not used often for informal peer interactions, email is used in more formal situations such as in school and by parents and other adults. This does not mean that it is seen in a positive light. - Pew Internet:
    39. 57. To teens, email is… Slow. Adult. Formal.
    40. 58. The brand of you (photo via adampniak /
    41. 59. Have you Googled yourself lately?
    42. 60. “ Your reputation is shaped by ten blue links on a white background.” - Andy Beal
    43. 61. Resume 1.0
    44. 62. Resume 2.0
    45. 64. Google never forgets.
    46. 67. [email_address] @nathantwright 515.554.0502 Thank you.