UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2) is a critical internet studies community committed to reimagining technology, championing social justice, and strengthening human rights through research, culture, and public policy.

Community

Faculty Director

Dr. Sarah T. Roberts

Co-Founder

Dr. Safiya Noble

Dr. Safiya U. Noble is an internet studies scholar and Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she serves as the Co-Founder and former Faculty Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). She holds affiliations in the School of Education & Information Studies, and is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where she is a Commissioner on the Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance (OxCAIGG). In 2021, she was recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (also known as the “Genius Award”) for her ground-breaking work on algorithmic discrimination, which prompted her founding of a non-profit, Equity Engine, to accelerate investment in companies, education, and networks driven by women of color. She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been widely-reviewed in scholarly and popular publications. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. In 2022, she was recognized as the inaugural NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award recipient.

Her academic research focuses on the internet and its impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, power, and technology. She is regularly sought out for her expertise on issues of algorithmic discrimination and technology bias by national and international press including The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, USA Today, Wired, Time, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The New York Times, and a host of network news and podcasts. Her popular writing includes critiques on the loss of public goods to Big Tech companies, as featured in Noema magazine.

Safiya is the co-editor of two edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design. She is a member of several academic journal and advisory boards, and holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. In 2020, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award from the iSchool Alumni Association, and is also the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award winner from the Illinois Alumni Association at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Noble is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment. She was recently appointed as a board member for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank.

Director of Research and Programs

Dr. Stacy Wood

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Tiera Tanksley

Storyteller in Residence

Oge Egbuonu

Tech Impact Network Dissertation Fellow

Merriah Croston

Merriah Croston is a doctoral student in the Public Health Sciences program at Washington University in St. Louis where she is a Chancelor's Graduate Fellow and Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Fellow. Merriah was born and raised in Ohio and is a graduate of Georgetown University and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She has theoretical and applied research interests in health information and health behavior diffusion with an emphasis on social media contexts. Her current research uses social network analysis to explore the ways in which COVID-19 misinformation spreads on Twitter and how this differs from other information types. In addition to her scholarly interests, Merriah is devoted to promoting gender and racial diversity in data science.
Tech Impact Network Dissertation Fellow

Kelsey Kim

Kelsey Kim is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her work examines the structural inequalities of the Silicon Valley tech industry, including but not limited to gender, race, and labor. Specifically, her research focuses on the efforts of tech workers who advocate for systemic change in the industry through various methods, from organized labor movements to developing tech-for-good. Inspired by her childhood in Silicon Valley, she strives to conduct social justice-oriented research that confronts issues deeply impacting her community.
Tech Impact Network Dissertation Fellow

Sarah Riley

Sarah Riley is an information science PhD candidate at Cornell, where she studies municipal algorithmic systems, race/ism, and inequality. Her dissertation focuses on the administration of pretrial risk assessments in Virginia. She uses a mixed-methods approach to understand how human discretion in the pretrial process—particularly on the part of pretrial officers—affects risk scores, pretrial detention decisions, and life outcomes for accused people. She is advised by Solon Barocas and Karen Levy, and her work is funded by the Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship. Her interest in municipal algorithmic systems arose while working at the New York City Department of Education and volunteering for the Dignity in Schools Campaign, a national coalition working to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.She also has a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and internship experience with a variety of organizations, including Data 4 Black Lives and Crime Lab New York.
Tech Impact Network Dissertation Fellow

Kat Brewster

Kat Brewster is a PhD candidate at UC Irvine, whose work focuses on focuses on digital culture, with an emphasis on queer theory, archives, and how we tell the history of the internet. Her current project looks at the records of computer bulletin board systems which operated during the AIDS epidemic, and what it has historically meant to build a community online.
Tech Impact Network Research Fellow

J. Khadijah Abdurahman

J. Khadijah Abdurahman (they/them/any) is an abolitionist whose research focus is predictive analytics in the New York City child welfare system and tech in the Horn of Africa.

They are the founder of We Be Imagining, a public interest technology project at Columbia University’s INCITE Center and The American Assembly’s Democracy and Trust Program. WBI draws on the Black radical tradition to develop public technology through infusing academic discourse with the performance arts in partnership with community based organizations. Khadijah is co-founded the Otherwise School: Tools and Techniques of Counter-Fascism alongside Sucheta Ghoshal’s Inquilab at the University of Washington, HCDE. They’ve most recently guest edited Logic Magazine: Beacons and ACM Interactions: Unmaking Democracy. Their most recent writings can be found in The Funambulist and Columbia’s Law and Race Journal.

Tech Impact Network Research Fellow

Dr. Olivia Snow

Dr. Olivia Snow (she/her) is a writer and dominatrix whose research focus is on sex work/ers, labor rights, tech, and policy.

Her work arises from her doctoral research on the dehumanization of the laboring body under industrial capitalism, her organizing for policies to support community safety and harm reduction, and her lived experience of financial deplatforming and algorithmic surveillance as a sex worker. A professional dominatrix trained in the humanities, she also analyzes the symbiotic relationship between popular imaginings of sex work/ers and the legislation that criminalizes our labor.

Always with the goal of decriminalization and liberation, Snow’s research currently centers around the surveillance of in-person sex workers by Big Tech and the violence of financial and social deplatforming. She holds a PhD in American literature, and prior to joining C2i2, she was a research fellow at New York University’s AI Now Institute.

Tech Impact Network Global Policy Fellow

Alice Dawkins

GSR

Ayantu Tibeso

Ayantu Tibeso is a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow and doctoral student in the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on Indigenous knowledge organization and African modes of memory transmission and knowledge production. Drawing on Oromo knowledge traditions, her dissertation research interrogates the complex dynamics between information and knowledge institutions such as library and archives, and Indigenous modes of making and transmitting knowledge that lay outside of the epistemological foundations of these systems. Her research exploring the practical and theoretical challenges of nonstate archives in Ethiopia has been presented at the International Conference on the History of Records and Archives and African Studies Association and the Archival Education and Research Initiative, among others. She previously served as a researcher at the UCLA Community Archives Lab.
GSR

Jasmine Epps

GSR

Kai Nham (he/they)

GSR

Megan Riley

Faculty Associate

Dr. Matt Bui

Faculty Associate

Dr. Molly C. Niesen

Executive Director, C2i2

Vanessa Rhinesmith

Policy Director, C2i2

Akina Younge

GSR, 2022

Yvonne M. Eadon

GSR, 2022

Jie (Jae) Jiang

Fellow, 2021

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan

Fellow, 2021

Thandiwe Abdullah

GSR, 2021

Maya Edmond

GSR, 2021

Lawrence Maminta

GSR, 2021

Vandana

GSR, 2021

Terra Graziani

GSR, 2021

Ruth Livier