Mar 20, 2019

danah boyd Weighs in on MySpace Deleting Years of Digital History

From San Francisco Chronicle

Our digital past is getting erased, through product shifts and corporate negligence

By Owen Thomas

Our permanent record

I’ve been thinking about the past. And for the decades since the explosion of the internet, that means our digital past.

Laid up with a cold the other night, I decided I might as well Netflix and ill with Ramona the Love Terrier. “Glee” came up, and I decided to rewatch the 2009 series. The culture shock of the intervening decade was immediate, as the early episodes were larded with Myspace references, like Rachel uploading her over-the-top vocals to the social network, only to be laughed at by the McKinley High cheerleaders.

You could blame corporate synergy — Fox, which aired “Glee,” and Myspace were both owned by News Corp. at the time — but Myspace still had a hold on American teens at the time. Researcher danah boyd noted that many young people in lower-income families or those of color found Facebook elitist...


danah boyd is the founder and president of the Data & Society Research Institute, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft, and a Visiting Professor at New York University (NYU).

Last updated:

March 21, 2019