menu

How Teens Are Employing Steganography On Facebook

How Teens Are Employing Steganography On Facebook
technology

Teens on Facebook are using cryptic posts to convey their real expressions to their friends.

Naresh Kumar
  • 3 february 2011

A new trend has emerged in Facebook where teens are using language hacks as a way to communicate with their friends. Termed ‘social steganography’ by researcher Danah Boyd, such a status update, mostly in the form of song lyrics, looks innocuous enough to their parents who are also on their kids’ friends list, but convey the real meaning behind the post to the friends for whom it was actually intended, mostly because they share the same pop culture and other interests. This helps the teens to maintain their online presence, socialize on Facebook and post candid updates about themselves without fearing about their folks suspecting anything.

Probably some food for thought for Facebook to refine its privacy settings?

Wired reports:

The solution is what researcher Danah Boyd has dubbed social steganography. Teenagers now post status updates that have two layers: A bland surface meaning intended for parents, and a deeper, richer significance that can be decoded only by close friends.

For example, Boyd interviewed one girl who was going through a breakup while on a class trip and wanted her friends to know but not her mother (who’d “have a heart attack”). So the teenager posted the chorus of a black-humor Monty Python song sung by a group of men who’ve been crucified. (“Always look on the bright side of life / Always look on the bright side of life!”) Her close friends, being fans of the movie, understood the reference and immediately messaged her to offer support. But her mother didn’t know the film, so she thought the lyrics were genuinely cheery and posted a response saying she was glad her daughter was happy.

Wired: “Clive Thompson on Secret Messages in the Digital Age”

technology
Trending

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Fitness / Sport
Work Yesterday

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Yesterday

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors

Automotive Yesterday

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Yesterday

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Yesterday

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Yesterday

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Yesterday

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Advertising Yesterday

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Yesterday

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

Design Yesterday

Garmin’s New Smartwatch Is Challenging The Luxury Market

The brand adds a premium version of its popular multi-sport trainer to its accessories collection

No search results found.