Talk:danah boyd

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Why is her name not capitalized?[edit]

One lone woman can't change the English rules for capitalization of proper nouns. Capitalize it correctly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 1 November 2015 (UTC)


This is your occasional reminder that the current Manual of Style would recommend this article use "danah boyd" (which has regular and established use in reliable third-party sources and is the subject's preference), and that the continued deviation from the guideline is a source of persistent surprise and confusion for anyone who isn't a Wikipedia admin. Anyone feel brave enough to propose the move? Ubernostrum (talk) 10:17, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Per MOS:CAP, [1], bell hooks, k.d. lang etc. this would seem an obvious move. Skomorokh 10:52, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Considering that the policy has been in place for close to three years now, and almost all of the objections above are objections to the policy and not to its application to this page, I would definitely offer my support. -- Irn (talk) 13:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Support. It seems a mountain over a molehill, but I would support the move. -- Halavais (talk) 03:23, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Support but figger the old objectors are still around. Bellagio99 (talk) 15:03, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I think the decent thing to do would be to honor her name-formatting/capitalization preferences. However, from a sampling of the reliable sources used as references in the article, as well as a Google News Archive search, it appears most of them don't honor it, and instead use "Danah Boyd". So the question is, which takes precedence: her preferences, or the reliable source usage? Is it sufficient that a decent minority (20–25%, if I had to guess) of the reliable sources do honor her preference? 28bytes (talk) 17:44, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
The standard, from WP:MOSCAP is "regular and established use in reliable third-party sources." It doesn´t need to be a majority. I would definitely say that a "decent minority" over the course of years constitutes regular and established use. -- Irn (talk) 18:08, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with that perspective, but as Bellagio99 suggests below, it would be good to line up a comprehensive list of the RS references that use "danah boyd" prior to opening a move request. 28bytes (talk) 23:54, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Having gone thru this multiple times (without success), I urge Irn and Ubernostrum to post a bunch of reliable lower case sources, before continuing the debate. Otherwise, I fear, same old, same old.Bellagio99 (talk) 21:26, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been through this multiple times, too, and can attest that reliable sources make not a bit of difference -- the moment you bring up a respectable source, you get shouted down with "oh, obviously they've been influenced by her and aren't reliable anymore". Ubernostrum (talk) 02:31, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Uber, I've been there with you. And I am not volunteering to do the work, altho Google Scholar would make it easy. But talking in an evidence vacuum doesn't make sense either. Those who are passionate about it, please put up or shut up as we used to say as a kid (in the nicest way). Assemble the evidence, svp. Bellagio99 (talk) 04:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Done. Asbruckman (talk) 16:14, 18 April 2011 (UTC) I changed the body, but I think an admin needs to do the move? Asbruckman (talk) 16:16, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

As there was no objections to your change, I've formalised it in the page title. Skomorokh 12:13, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
There are most definitely objections to the change, and this should go through WP:RM. --Elonka 17:21, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
You waited through three months of discussion in favour of the change to pipe up for bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy, seriously? Skomorokh 17:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Calling this "fixing spelling" is so disingenuously misleading I really question the spirit beyond these eleventh-hour reversions. Skomorokh 17:37, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Using an edit summary of "obstructionist tactics"[2] is not particularly civil. In any case, WP:RM is pretty clear: "If there has been any past debate about the best title for the page, or if anyone could reasonably disagree with the move, then treat it as controversial." Or in other words, if there's a clear consensus, it'll show up in formal discussion. Why not give it a try? --Elonka 17:43, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree with Skomorokh that this was an extremely misleading edit summary. Regardless, now that there's an objection, I'll go ahead and start a formal move request. 28bytes (talk) 17:49, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, Elonka, I wondered when you'd take notice. But since you're here: it's time to hear an argument for why this article should go against the grain of MoS, since the growing consensus appears to be that the article should be edited to conform. I await that argument, though not with bated breath -- one suspects that a flurry of edits is about to occur over at MoS instead. Ubernostrum (talk) 19:00, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Per MOS:CAP, sentences that begin with "Boyd" should use a capital letter. This does not fit the exceptions under "Items that require initial lower case" for mathematical constants or "trademarks beginning with a one-letter lowercase prefix pronounced as a separate letter, followed by a capitalized second letter." Therefore, standard English capitalization rules apply to those sentences. -- (talk) 17:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't really care what we do about this but I will point out that the MOS page to which you linked contradicts itself. As you point out, one section says that we should capitalize boyd when it begins a sentence. Another section in that same page also says: "The initial letter in a sentence is capitalized. This does not apply if it begins with a letter which is always left uncapitalized." That, of course, contradicts the requirement to capitalize names when they begin a sentence. If this is important to you, I recommend taking this up on the Talk page of the MOS to have it resolved so this doesn't come up again in the future. ElKevbo (talk) 19:38, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:11, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Danah BoydDanah boyd – The article subject prefers danah boyd to Danah Boyd, and a significant number of reliable source publications (though not the majority) use the lowercase spelling as well. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters) offers the guidance that "when uncapitalized forms are the normal English usage (abelian group, k.d. lang), we follow common usage." Since reliable sources are divided on the capitalization of the name, I think it's fair to say that both danah boyd and Danah Boyd can reasonably be considered "common usage." Given that, and the article subject's preference, I propose moving the page to danah boyd. 28bytes (talk) 18:04, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I Support the move. For months (years?) this article has been out of line with MoS and out of line with general sanity. See history of this talk page for the various times I've brought up reliable sources ranging from academic journals to major newspapers. Then move it and then let's all move on with our lives, hm? Ubernostrum (talk) 19:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The concept of a lower-cased spelling in an article title is a major stylistic choice, and should not be made lightly. It can be jarring to readers, and look like an error. We should only move a page to such a title if there is a clear preference for this spelling in third-party reliable sources. However, the majority of reputable third-party sources are still using normal capitalization (Danah Boyd): New York Times, Seattle Times, Huffington Post, CNet, Discover magazine, PC Magazine and many others. Wikipedia follows the prevailing usage in outside sources that are independent of the subject. If outside sources were to use "danah boyd" as a common spelling, then Wikipedia could adapt to match. But that does not appear to be the case at this time, so the article should stay at "Danah Boyd". --Elonka 19:48, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
It's already been conceded that the majority of sources use the uppercase spelling, but, again, there are many reputable third-party sources that use the lowercase spelling, such as CNN, The Toronto Star, Businessweek, The San Jose Mercury News, The Sacramento Bee, PBS, ABC News, Information Week, Salon, TIME Magazine and BBC News. I understand that your argument is that the subject's preferences should be ignored, but given that all of these media outlets (and many others) do not ignore her preferences, but rather respect them, I think we ought to respect them too. 28bytes (talk) 20:11, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
28bytes, thank you for the links, but they seem to be somewhat cherry-picked since most of them are years old, with the exception of the ABC News entry. Could you please provide more current links? --Elonka 17:11, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Sure, I'll be happy to. Here are some from the last couple of years:
  • Wired, November 4, 2010
  • Faster Times, November 13, 2010
  • Boston Globe, July 25, 2010
  • Salon, January 12, 2011
  • Toronto Star, February 14, 2010
  • TechRadar, March 9, 2010. This one is especially interesting, as it's an article about Wikipedia's reluctance to spell boyd's name the way she prefers: "Some of Wikipedia's denizens don't like the way academic researcher and well-known blogger danah boyd (legally) spells her name - without caps. 'Why is it OK for her to impose her nonstandard styling and the costs that come with it on the rest of us?' said R27182818 on the subject's discussion page. The argument continues to this day, and the Wikipedia article on danah boyd is still titled 'Danah Boyd'."
  • Time, May 20, 2010
  • CNN, November 12, 2010
Now, this is not to say you couldn't find more examples from that time period that use the uppercase spelling; indeed, there are plenty. This is simply to show that the subject's preferred usage is indeed used by a significant number of independent reliable sources, enough to qualify (in my opinion) as "common usage" as laid out in the MOS. 28bytes (talk) 17:47, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I haven't reviewed all your links yet, but thank you for the effort in compiling it. To be most persuasive though, it's best to only use sources that Wikipedia regards as reliable sources. Specifically, please try to avoid blogs and other opinion pieces or first-person accounts. For example, your first "Wired" link might be regarded as a bit misleading, since it says Wired, but is in fact simply a Wired-associated blog. The TechRadar article is also pretty obviously an opinion piece, rather than "a reliable source with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". If Wikipedia were to start changing articles based on every opinion piece out there, we'd be in a pretty sorry state. Anyway, I don't want this to degenerate into a discussion about what is and isn't a reliable source, but could you please doublecheck all links? It's definitely food for thought, but please ensure that you're making your strongest arguments. Thanks, --Elonka 19:16, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I consider Time, ABC News, BBC News, The Boston Globe and CNN to be top-notch sources, especially as compared to, for example, the Huffington Post, but I agree with you that there's probably little to be gained in quibbling over where each individual source ranks on the reliability scale. 28bytes (talk) 20:54, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia follows the prevailing usage in outside sources that are independent of the subject. That's not true. According to the MOS: "regular and established use in reliable third-party sources" is the standard for using a person's preference. This is a much lower threshold, one which "danah boyd" certainly meets. -- Irn (talk) 23:57, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Numerous reliable sources use the lower case spelling and it accords with the subject's own usage. I also think this is a WP:BLP issue given that the subject has a widely-respected and well-known preference for HER OWN NAME. This is a trivial issue and it's downright disrespectful that we behave in this manner. ElKevbo (talk) 21:48, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd support the move. It is jarring, and looks quite narcissistic to boot, but if it's the image she insists on presenting, and a significant percentage of reliable sources goes along with it per the MoS's dictum, we might as well be consistent in applying the MoS. Fran Rogers (talk) 23:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support See above, "regular and established use in reliable third-party sources" -- Irn (talk) 23:57, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as per ElKevbo and Fran Rogers and Irn arguments. Bellagio99 (talk) 02:21, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I Support the move, per MoS. Asbruckman (talk) 02:31, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment this is a technically impossible request. Wikipedia does not support lower case first letters in article names. An article name trick to modify the title doesn't need a requested move. (talk) 05:45, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
    • You would be correct if she only had one name, like Cher. But changing "Boyd" to "boyd" does require a page move, as you can see in the page move log. 28bytes (talk) 11:18, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Due to technical restrictions, the only thing that a page move can do is change "Boyd" to "boyd". As the first word in the article title, changing "Danah" to "danah" will instead require the addition of {{lowercase title}} in the article. Zzyzx11 (talk) 20:17, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Agreed. That was actually the state of affairs, albeit briefly, after Skomorokh moved the page following the 6-week discussion above, before Elonka reverted the move. 28bytes (talk) 20:54, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

So we should change the capitalization throughout the article to ensure consistency with the title, right? ElKevbo (talk) 18:36, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Yep. 28bytes (talk) 19:08, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Done. I didn't touch the capitalization in the citations as I haven't gone through them to see which ones are capitalized and which ones aren't. Someone should do that; I don't have time right now. ElKevbo (talk) 19:21, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. The name should be capitalized at the beginning of sentences, though, and as you say, any quotes and reference info should retain the source's formatting. See k.d. lang for some usage examples. 28bytes (talk) 19:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

@ nyu[edit]

What do you think about this as documentation of boyd's non-trivial affiliation with NYU?

Bellagio99 (talk) 16:42, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

New style guide discussion.[edit]

As a lot of other related edits have also been done, hold-off reverting until the concise points raised in the style guide are addressed, see here: Jimthing (talk) 23:31, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

No, you've made a bunch of edits and are trying to change the MOS to support your edits. It doesn't work like that and you don't get to bully others and edit war to keep your edits while you change the MOS. Change the MOS and then make your edits. ElKevbo (talk) 23:43, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Uppercase for earlier names?[edit]

@HelicopterLlama: I set some uppercase aliases in Wikidata and made the change on this page that you reverted based on the uppercase name at Should we defer to the subject's own usage? Or is this already covered in a past discussion? --Jeremyb (talk) 16:52, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Also, wanted to leave an edit summary but was still learning how to use the new app and missed how to do so. --Jeremyb (talk) 17:03, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
There has been extensive discussion of this issue. Just scroll up on this Talk page and check its archives. ElKevbo (talk) 17:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
I read some of the earlier discussion above before making the change in question. I'm not aware of anywhere that covers this particular variant of her name. Please quote or link to a diff or something if I missed it. (or is the argument that we have existing consensus that she should be referenced in lowercase for all variants regardless of what her own preference is? if clarification is needed beyond the ref I already linked we could just ask her…) Thanks. --Jeremyb (talk) 00:06, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but I'm not following you. What is the point of contention and how does it differ from the several discussions previously held here? ElKevbo (talk) 03:31, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, did you look at ? It has some (earlier, obsolete) variants in uppercase. What do you think about that? Should we uppercase those older variants that the subject herself chooses to uppercase? --Jeremyb (talk) 03:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Only if for some reason we're discussing historical names and spellings in this article. It's a bit obscure to get into for this (or nearly any other) biography. ElKevbo (talk) 04:58, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
uh i based it on the source in the statement itsself?? ?fj it lists quotation here as undercase and so thats why i reverted :^)( ~Helicopter Llama~ 14:49, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
The issue may be that the two sources contradict one another with respect to whether the name has uppercase letters. This source doesn't use uppercase letters ("My birth name was "danah michele mattas") but this source does use capital letters ("Born: 'Danah Michele Mattas'."). ElKevbo (talk) 16:05, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Indicated name as "styled lowercase" & explained: I have moved the related cite footnote into "{Reflist|...refs=..}" to explain when she noted her mother added lowercase 'h' in her birth name "danah" for typographical balance in reflecting the lowercase first letter 'd' similar to "d-b" reflection. Her webpage seems to emphasize the lowercase birthname was "danah" because capital "Danah" would not reflect uppercase 'D' as 'h'. Her interim names may have used "Danah...Beard Boyd" but birthname as lowercase "danah" seems likely, unless rejected by other specific sources. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Further Discussion[edit]

It looks very unprofessional to have a name in lowercases like this. Not to mention goes against English writing convention.Reverted.--Cartamandua (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:13, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

This has been extensively discussed many times over the past several years. Do you have any new information? If not, why do you believe that your opinion should override the consensus that has been achieved on this topic? ElKevbo (talk) 23:20, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

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Updating "Honors and awards" and "Career"[edit]

Hi. I would like to update the "Honors and awards" section, adding more information about the speeches that she has recently given.

· "What Hath We Wrought?" at SXSW EDU 2018 · "Hacking Big Data" at University of Texas at Austin

Parprae (talk) 16:10, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Just do it!! Bellagio99 (talk) 18:03, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 21 June 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus. Don't see general agreement below with opposition's strong arguments and show of reliable sources against little determined rebuttal. So this article will retain its stable title and stylization for now. It may take a subtle change in the MOS before this title can justifiably be restyled, which is a discussion for another venue. As is usual with a no-consensus outcome, editors can strengthen their args and try again in a few months to garner consensus for restyling. Have a Great Day and Happy Publishing! (nac by page mover)  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  05:38, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Move logs: Danah boyd and Danah Boyd for future consideration

Danah boydDanah Boyd – Seriously? This is a vanity stylism. And that was 2011, but Telegraph interview 2014 no longer insisting on it. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:57, 21 June 2018 (UTC) --Relisting. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 23:57, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

....and we also have a style guide. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:20, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Speedy move, clear MOS:CAPS violation that shouldn't need any discussion. Lordtobi () 13:09, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
    • @Lordtobi: MOS:CAPS permits lowercase names: "Some individuals do not want their personal names capitalized. In such cases, Wikipedia articles may use lower case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources (for example, k.d. lang)." The subject prefers lowercase, and many reliable sources also print her name in lowercase. --ChiveFungi (talk) 13:36, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per nom and MOS:CAPS. MOS:PN does allow for exceptions for lower case, but when sources such as The Guardian aren't using them, neither should we. --woodensuperman 15:18, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per MOS:CAP. The lower case has regular and established use in reliable sources. -- irn (talk) 16:00, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
Not in reliable third party sources it doesn't. That's the problem. In third party sources such as The Guardian the stylism which was current in her own material in 2011 isn't being much used. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:51, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
Sure, it does: Financial Times, Chronicle of Higher Ed, Wired, WDET, these are all reliable, third party sources. -- irn (talk) 04:00, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:MOSCAPS. Such stylings are distracting and potentially confusing to the general readership of an encyclopedia. Wikipedia should follow its own style guide in these cases. —  AjaxSmack  02:34, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
We are following our own style guide, which ChiveFungi quoted above, by using the lower case. -- irn (talk) 22:31, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
No, we're following an exception to the style guide by using the lower case. --woodensuperman 15:23, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
It's not an exception. It's literally in the style guide. The style guide has a specific section to address this very issue. That's the point of having a style guide. -- irn (talk) 04:14, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Per MOS:PN#Personal names: "Exceptions are made when the lowercase variant has received regular and established use in reliable third party sources". It's literally an exception. --woodensuperman 08:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
It's an exception to a different rule, not to the style guide. That's how style guides work. Rules conflict. One rule is [x]; an exception is [y]; an exception to [y] is [z]; etc. The word "except"/"exception" shows up 29 times on that page alone. Those are not all exceptions to the guide; they are part of it just like MOS:LCITEMS is part of the MOS. -- irn (talk) 16:38, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.