danah boyd discusses concerns about the weaponising of media literacy through denalism and says that there is a need for cognitive strengthening. This includes:

  1. “Actively taking things out of context can be helpful for analysis”
  2. “help students truly appreciate epistemological differences”
  3. “help students see how they fill in gaps when the information presented to them is sparse and how hard it is to overcome priors [confirmation bias and selective attention]”

Benjamin Doxtdator raises the concern that focusing on the individual:

Would boyd’s cognitive strength training exercises have helped here? No. Turning inwards to psychology, rather outwards to the political context, is precisely what gives us ‘lone wolf’ analyses of white supremacy.

Instead Doxtdator suggests considering the technical infrastructure. Interestingly, she does touch on platforms in the Q&A at the end:

One of the things that is funny is that these technologies get designed for a very particular idea of what they could be used for and then they twist in different ways.source

The original text that the keynote was based on can be found here, while a response to some of the criticism can be found here.

A comment made in the Q & A after boyd's keynote
Image via “Lego on Facebook” by amarois is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Quote via danah boyd
Bookmarked Critical Digital Fluency Revisited by Tom Woodward (
I had the chance to talk to the kind folks from Middlebury about digital fluency Friday. I’ll probably do a better job getting into the depth of things with this as I was moving pretty rapidly for the 20 minute presentation. It’s also super-meta in a way that’s hard to articulate verbally so I...
Tom Woodward presented at Middlebury on the topic of ‘digital fluency’. These notes capture his thinking as he walks through different aspects associated with the topic. One thing that interested me was his discussion of the URL:

I started with the idea of the link/URL. It’s a uniquely digital capability. I used the Wikipedia structure to point out that the various flavors move you between languages for the same article. You may or may not notice something like that but knowing it gives you a bit of power, it opens an avenue of consideration, and it becomes a tool you can use with or without the web designer giving it to you directly.

I also turned a part of the text into a visual graphic which was included within a post on coding.

URL and Travel

“URL and” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA