Meet the Team:

Co-Director, C2i2 and Co-Director, Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble

Dr. Safiya Noble is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she serves as the Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and holds appointments in African American Studies and Gender Studies. She was recently appointed a Research Associate to the Oxford Internet Institute and is a Commissioner for the Oxford Commission on AI and Good Governance (OxCAIGG) convened at the University of Oxford, which advises world leaders on effective ways to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in public administration and governance.

Professor Noble 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. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award, and her academic research focuses on the design of digital media and their impact on society. She is regularly quoted 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, to name a few. Safiya is an editorial board member of several academic journals 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. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital technology and AI intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and power.

Co-Director, C2i2 and Co-Director, Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power

Dr. Sarah T. Roberts

Sarah T. Roberts is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, at UCLA. She holds an appointment in the Labor Studies Program at UCLA . She was recently appointed a Research Associate to the Oxford Internet Institute as well as invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cyber Policy (at Chatham House). She holds a Ph.D. from the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining UCLA in 2016, she was an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario for three years. On the internet since 1993, she was previously an information technology professional for 15 years, and, as such, her research interests focus on information work and workers and on the social, economic and political impact of the widespread adoption of the internet in everyday life.

Since 2010, the main focus of her research has been to uncover the ecosystem – made up of people, practices and politics – of content moderation of major social media platforms, news media companies, and corporate brands. She served as consultant to and is featured in the award-winning documentary The Cleaners, which debuted at Sundance 2018 and aired on PBS in the United States in November 2018. Roberts is author of the book Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media (Yale University Press).

Roberts is frequently consulted by the press and others on issues related to commercial content moderation and to social media, society and culture, in general. She has been interviewed on these topics in print, on radio and on television worldwide including: The New York Times, Associated Press, NPR, Le Monde, The Atlantic, The Economist, BBC Nightly News, the CBC, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Wired, The Washington Post, Australian Broadcasting Corporation SPIEGEL Online, and CNN, among many others.

She is a 2018 Carnegie Fellow and a 2018 recipient of the EFF Barlow Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on content moderation of social media.

Minderoo Director of Research

Stacy Wood

Stacy Wood (pronouns she/her) is the Director of Research for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Her research and teaching interests are focused on the intersection of information technologies and cultures and practices around evidence. Her research has been published in several scholarly journals including Computational Culture and Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture. Wood holds a PhD and an MLIS from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information and a BA in World Literature, Gender Studies and Media Studies from Pitzer College. Prior to joining the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, Wood was an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh.
Director of Partnerships & Programs

Vanessa Rhinesmith

Vanessa Rhinesmith (she/her) is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Programs for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. She has spent her career working with a variety of public and private organizations and industries. She has led projects, improved programs, enhanced organizations, and strengthened cultural dynamics all through an approach to work that is built on a foundation of participatory inquiry, community collaboration, racial and social justice, and trust. She has an MBA from Simmons School of Management (MA), BA in Marketing from Fairfield University (CT), and worked as a social worker in Chicago. Vanessa is the Event Producer of the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) and Review Editor for the Journal of Community Informatics (JoCI). She lives with her husband, daughter, two rescued cats and dog. In her (little) free time, you’ll find her reading graphic novels or dreaming of where to scuba dive next (post-pandemic).
Research Affiliate

Dr. Matt Bui

Minderoo Fellow

Thandiwe Adbullah

Minderoo Fellow

Lawrence Maminta

Graduate Student Researcher

Terra Graziani

Graduate Student Researcher

Yvonne M. Eadon

Graduate Student Researcher

Ruth Livier

Graduate Student Researcher

Megan Riley