Sarah Roberts

Associate Professor of Information Studies
Codirector, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry

Sarah T. Roberts is an assistant professor of information studies in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and an expert on internet culture, social media and the intersection of media and technology. Roberts’ research has examined information work and information workers and she is a leading authority on “commercial content moderation,” the term she coined to describe the work of those commercial content moderators responsible for making sure the photos, videos and stories posted to commercial websites fit within legal, ethical and the site’s own guidelines and standards.


  • Ph.D., Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A., Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., French, Spanish; Certificate of Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Roberts, S.T. (2016). Digital refuse: Canadian garbage, commercial content moderation and the global circulation of social media’s waste. Wi: Journal of Mobile Media, 10(1), p. 1-18.

Roberts, S.T. and Noble, S.U. (2016). Empowered to name, inspired to act: Social responsibility and diversity as calls to action in the LIS context. Library Trends, 64(3), p. 512-532. DOI: 10.1353/lib.2016.0008

Roberts, S.T. (2016). In/visibility. In Letters & Handshakes (Eds.), Surplus3: Labour and the Digital. Toronto: Letters & Handshakes.

Roberts, S.T. (2016). Commercial content moderation: Digital laborers’ dirty work. In Noble, S.U. and Tynes, B. (Eds.), The intersectional internet: Race, sex, class and culture online. New York: Peter Lang.

Noble, S. & Roberts, S. T. (2016). Through Google-Colored Glass(es): Design, Emotion, Class, and Wearables as Commodity and Control. In S. Tettegah & S. Noble (Eds.), Emotions, Technology & Design. pp. 187-210. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.