Lindsay Blackwell is a recognized expert in content moderation and social media governance. She is currently Mozilla’s Trust & Safety Operations Lead.
In her previous roles, Lindsay led teams of policy experts, operations specialists, and machine learning engineers in efforts to better define, detect, and ultimately prevent harmful content and behavior. As Head of Trust & Safety for both Yik Yak and Sidechat, Lindsay developed a unique content moderation ecosystem designed to better support people who are most vulnerable to online harm. She also served as lead researcher on Facebook’s Hate Speech and Violence & Incitement teams, where she investigated issues of bias, fairness, and severity in automated enforcement systems, and pursued similar work as a senior researcher on Twitter’s Content Health team.
A trained social scientist, Lindsay also publishes and advises on civil society research about online communities, social norms and deviance, and vulnerable populations. She has studied targets, perpetrators, and bystanders of online abuse for nearly a decade, both during her doctoral studies at the University of Michigan and in partnership with industry-leading companies including Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Twitter.
Her PhD research—which focuses on transforming social media governance with applied theories of justice—has been published in top venues and featured in a variety of publications, including On the Media, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
June 6, 2023: I’m joining Mozilla as Trust & Safety Operations Lead.
August 1, 2022: I’m joining Sidechat as Head of Trust & Safety.
February 25, 2022: I successfully defended my dissertation proposal! I’m now ABD and will soon defend my dissertation.
August 4, 2021: New publication in the Yale Journal of Law & Technology: “Reimagining Social Media Governance: Harm, Accountability, and Repair” (with Sarita Schoenebeck).
November 18, 2020: I’m joining Twitter as a Senior User Researcher, where I’ll focus on Toxicity and Polarization.
August 20, 2019: My work with On The Media producer Micah Loewinger is featured by The New York Times.
August 2, 2019: My work is featured by On The Media’s “Repairing Justice: How to Fix the Internet.”
March 26, 2019: I received UMSI’s Gender and Diversity in Information Award. I’m deeply grateful for this recognition.
February 21, 2019: One poster accepted to IEEEVR 2019: “Harassment in Social VR: Implications for Design” (with Nicole Ellison, Natasha Elliott-Deflo, and Raz Schwartz).
February 11, 2019: I’m joining Facebook full-time as a UX Researcher on the Community Integrity team, where I’ll focus on online harassment and hate speech.
November 15, 2018: One paper accepted to ICWSM 2019 (17% acceptance rate): “’I Just Want to Feel Safe’: A Diary Study of Safety Perceptions on Social Media” (with Elissa Redmiles and Jess Bodford).
March 22, 2018: One paper accepted to ICWSM 2018 (16% acceptance rate): “When Online Harassment is Perceived as Justified” (with Tianying Chen, Sarita Schoenebeck, and Cliff Lampe; PDF).
February 13, 2018: I contributed to Jacqueline Vickery and Tracy Everbach’s Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology, and Harassment, available for sale now.
January 2, 2018: My research with HeartMob is covered by Salon: Social media anti-harassment strategies won’t stop trolls.
December 23, 2017: My research with HeartMob is covered by AlterNet: Why Twitter and Facebook’s Anti-Harassment Strategies Won’t Stop the Trolls.
December 13, 2017: My research about “justified” online harassment is covered by Spartan Newsroom: Online justice: social accountability or harassment?
December 6, 2017: I’m in Los Angeles, CA presenting work titled “What Makes a Bad Actor? Online Harassment and Redress” at All Things in Moderation: The People, Practices and Politics of Online Content Review—Human and Machine (ATM ‘17).
October 23, 2017: This fall, I’m working as a UX Researcher with PRO Unlimited at Facebook.
October 3, 2017: I contributed to Sue Scheff’s Shame Nation, available for sale now.
September 21, 2017: I presented a talk at Nerd Nite Ann Arbor on online harassment and trolling, titled “When Online Harassment is Perceived as Justified.” Slides here.
September 12, 2017: I received UMSI’s Outstanding Graduate Instructor (GSI) of the Year Award. I’m deeply grateful to my students and colleagues for nominating me.
August 22, 2017: I successfully defended my preliminary exam! I’m now a doctoral candidate and will begin working on my dissertation proposal.
August 9, 2017: I’m presenting a short talk and a poster at Facebook’s UX Research Summit (UsERS) in Menlo Park, CA.
August 7, 2017: One paper accepted to CSCW 2018 Online First (27% acceptance rate): “Classification and Its Consequences for Online Harassment: Design Insights from HeartMob” (with Jill Dimond, Sarita Schoenebeck, and Cliff Lampe; PDF).
June 25, 2017: I’m in Watsonville, CA for HCIC 2017.
June 12, 2017: This summer, I’m working as a UX Research Intern on the Protect and Care team at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA.
May 25, 2017: I’m in San Diego, CA for ICA 2017.
May 19, 2017: I’ve been nominated by my program to attend the 2017 Human Computer Interaction Consortium.
February 25, 2017: I’m in Portland, OR for CSCW 2017.
January 25, 2017: I’ve been named a finalist for the 2017 Facebook Fellowship.
January 17, 2017: My panel with Alice Marwick, Robyn Caplan, Amanda Lenhart, Whitney Phillips, Ryan Milner, and Kate Miltner, titled “Malicious Scripts: Investigating Online Harassment and Networked Abuse” was accepted to ICA 2017 (45% acceptance rate). Slides here.
December 8, 2016: I’m in Denver, CO at the Program Committee Meeting for CHI 2017.
November 28, 2016: In the winter term, I will be a Graduate Student Instructor for SI 110 (Introduction to Information) with Dr. Cliff Lampe.
October 19, 2016: I’m in Houston, TX at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, presenting a Birds of a Feather session titled “Understanding Online Harassment: Definitions, Ethics, and Prevention” (PDF). Slides here.
October 18, 2016: My white paper with Alice Marwick and Katherine Lo, titled “Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment” (PDF), is published by Data & Society.
October 7, 2016: I’m presenting the results of my fellowship research—”Enforcing and Performing ‘Good’ Womanhood: Online Harassment as Social Sanctioning”—at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender’s annual Community of Scholars Symposium.
October 1, 2016: “‘The question exists, but you don’t exist with it’: Strategic anonymity in the social lives of adolescents” is published in Social Media + Society (with Nicole Ellison, Cliff Lampe, and Penny Trieu; PDF).
August 17, 2016: I’m in Cambridge, MA attending the MIT Media Lab’s Workshop on High Impact Research on Online Harassment and Moderation (PDF).
July 7, 2016: In the fall term, I will be a Graduate Student Instructor for SI 110 (Introduction to Information) with Dr. Mark Newman.
June 1, 2016: One session accepted to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (18% acceptance rate): “Understanding Online Harassment: Definitions, Ethics, and Prevention” (with Zahra Ashktorab, Katherine Lo, and Elizabeth Lee; PDF).
May 7, 2016: I’m in San Jose, CA for CHI 2016.
April 28, 2016: I successfully defended my pre-candidacy paper! I am now a doctoral pre-candidate and will begin working on my preliminary exam.
April 20, 2016: I’ve been awarded an ISR-Rackham Summer Training Award to attend the 2016 Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques.
March 16, 2016: I presented a talk at Nerd Nite Ann Arbor on online harassment and trolling, titled “Trolls, Trouble, and Telling the Difference.” Watch here.
February 27, 2016: I’m in San Francisco, CA for CSCW 2016.
February 10, 2016: “LGBT Parents and Social Media: Advocacy, Privacy, and Disclosure during Shifting Social Movements” (PDF) has received an Honorable Mention for Best Paper at CHI 2016 (top 4% of papers).
January 15, 2016: I’ve been awarded a Community of Scholars fellowship from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender to further my work on online harassment.
January 15, 2016: One paper accepted to ICA 2016 (46% acceptance rate): we interviewed users of anonymous question-answer site Ask.fm and surfaced benefits of anonymous interaction for adolescents.
January 10, 2016: I will be a Student Volunteer for CHI 2016.
December 17, 2015: In the winter term, I will be the Graduate Student Instructor for SI 429 (Online Communities) with Dr. Nicole Ellison and for SI 529 (Online Communities) with Dr. Cliff Lampe.
December 13, 2015: One paper accepted to CHI 2016 (23% acceptance rate): an interview study with parents who identify as LGBT about the challenges associated with their social media use (with Jean Hardy, Tawfiq Ammari, Tiffany Veinot, Cliff Lampe, and Sarita Schoenebeck; PDF).
November 13, 2015: I presented a talk at Ignite Ann Arbor on online harassment and trolling, titled “Everybody Trolls Sometimes.” Watch here.
November 1, 2015: I will be serving on the CHI 2017 Conference Organizing Committee as the Assistant to the Chairs.
August 17, 2015: Two papers accepted to CSCW 2016 (25% acceptance rate): an interview study with parents and teens about managing household technology use (with Emma Gardiner and Sarita Schoenebeck; PDF), and a study in which young adults reflect on their teenage facebook use (with Sarita Schoenebeck, Nicole Ellison, Joe Bayer, and Emily Falk; PDF).
August 6, 2015: I have been appointed to the University’s Information Technology Council in the office of Chief Information Officer Laura Patterson.
May 15, 2015: In the fall term, I will be a Graduate Student Instructor for SI 110 (Introduction to Information) with Dr. Mark Newman.
April 15, 2015: I have been elected to Rackham Student Government as a Social and Behavioral Sciences representative.
April 13, 2015: I have been elected to serve on the School of Information’s Doctoral Executive Committee.