Forest Avenue Library will be hosting the Teen Meme Project, a collection of memes about privacy created by teens. The project was produced by Library Freedom Project (LFP) and staff at Boston Public Library. Their statement on the project:
It is all too common to hear the refrain "teenagers don’t care about privacy," as adults point to teens’ use of social media and attitudes about online sharing. But as librarians who know the teens in our communities, we know that this saying is a myth. Teens recognize privacy to be about personal agency and "their ability to control a social situation, how information flows, and when and where they can be observed by others." Teens regularly make decisions that obfuscate information from certain parties, like principals or parents, and use anti-surveillance strategies such as anonymous accounts or "finstas." But there remains a need for a robust set of
privacy resources made just for teens, on topics they care about, using language and formats they understand.
Over eight months beginning in January 2021, LFP librarians worked with teens from several US libraries to create a set of privacy resources in the form of meme images for people ages 13-19, prioritizing the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ teens. Teens created their memes in response to lightning talks by the LFP librarians on topics, they chose to learn more about including:
- Face surveillance and facial recognition
- School surveillance
- Ad tracking and data collection practice
- Debunking common security/privacy myths
This project finds itself at the rare intersection of necessary and fun. LFP and the LFP Teen Meme creators are deeply grateful to the Calyx Institute for their funding and support of this project.