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Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative

The Berkman Center's Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative will explore those policy issues that fall within three substantive clusters that emerge from youth's information and communications technology (ICT) practices:

  • Risky Behaviors and Online Safety (led by danah boyd);
  • Privacy, Publicity and Reputation (led by John Palfrey); and
  • Youth Created Content and Information Quality (led by Urs Gasser).

In each of these clusters, we seek to:

  • map and analyze the key policy aspects that deserve attention by private and public policy-makers;
  • summarize the current state of knowledge and research; and
  • identify key policy considerations and, to the greatest extent possible on a compressed timeline, make specific policy recommendations.

Our intended audience is policymakers, both in the public and private sectors. In the public sector, the audience will primarily be federal policymakers, including legislators and regulators. In the private sector, the targeted audience consists of corporate policy-setters and technology developers (those who write "code" as self-executing policy). The intent of this initiative is to bring the best research on youth and media into the policy-making debate and to propose practical, relevant, situated solutions based upon that research.

This project is supported in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Our Work 06

Feb 23, 2012

Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and… More

Jun 22, 2010

Sexting: Youth Practices and Legal Implications

This document addresses legal and practical issues related to the practice colloquially known as sexting. It was created by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the… More

Jun 15, 2010

Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations

An Exploratory Study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, in Collaboration with UNICEF

This paper's main objectives are: to raise awareness about issues related to digital safety for youth in developing nations; to provide a tentative map of these issues and give… More

Apr 28, 2010

How the COPPA, as Implemented, Is Misinterpreted by the Public: A Research Perspective

Statement to the United States Senate, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Statement by danah boyd, Urs Gasser, and John Palfrey, urging consideration of the gap between the intentions of COPPA and how children and their parents perceive its… More

Apr 12, 2010

Youth, Privacy and Reputation (Literature Review)

The scope of this literature review is to map out what is currently understood about the intersections of youth, reputation, and privacy online, focusing on youth attitudes and… More

Feb 24, 2010

Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry 09-94 “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape”

The response synthesizes current research and data on the media practices of youth, focusing on three main areas -- 1) Risky Behaviors and Online Safety, 2) Privacy, Publicity and… More

People 06


Related Projects & Tools 01

Youth and Media

Youth and Media (YaM) encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth (age 12-18) and digital technology. More