Meet the Team:
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.
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.