Social media scholar danah boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research and a research associate at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, recently spoke with ACSblog about young people, privacy, and the Internet.
boyd explains why young people gravitate toward social media sites as a way of figuring out their place in the world, and why she believes the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), while well-intentioned, is not working the way it should.
While COPPA was designed to require parent permission for children younger than 13 to participate in social media, the law has, in effect, created a ban for children younger than 13, with both parents and children systematically skirting that ban by lying about the child's age, she explains.
“Parents are finding themselves written out of this and disempowered by the system, and they’re teaching their kids to lie,” boyd says.
She suggests that education about use of social media is a better solution than age restrictions.
Watch the full interview below.