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October 8, 2008

Zeynep Tufekci, Sociology & Anthropology, in the New York Times


Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, has appeared twice in recent New York Times articles for her expert commentary on the deeper meanings of social networking sites such as Facebook.

Tufekci was quoted most recently in the Sept. 24 story "Get off the Internet, and Chew Some Gum," which examined an ad campaign by the makers of Dentyne chewing gum that attempted to redefine the meanings of popular social networking terms such as "friend request accepted" with face-to-face contact.


“I think most college kids would roll their eyes” at the ads, said Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who studies the way young people use technology to socialize. “In fact, they’re checking out these sites in the hopes that sooner or later it will end up in a hug or kiss.”

On Sept. 5, Tufekci was referenced in a New York Times Magazine feature "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You." The story examined how concepts of personal privacy are shifting among the Facebook and Twitter generation.


This is the ultimate effect of the new awareness: It brings back the dynamics of small-town life, where everybody knows your business. Young people at college are the ones to experience this most viscerally, because, with more than 90 percent of their peers using Facebook, it is especially difficult for them to opt out. Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who has closely studied how college-age users are reacting to the world of awareness, told me that athletes used to sneak off to parties illicitly, breaking the no-drinking rule for team members. But then camera phones and Facebook came along, with students posting photos of the drunken carousing during the party; savvy coaches could see which athletes were breaking the rules.

Posted by crose at October 8, 2008 1:55 PM