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Big Data, Sexual Surveillance and Alternative Governance

Focus Area: Health
Research Programs: Institutions
Status: Active

The contested governance of sexual technologies – from apps and platforms to bots and devices – provides a unique case study through which to identify current problems in automated decision-making and to generate new principles, values and approaches. This project will examine existing practices in the collection and use of sexual data by both private and public actors.

It will investigate how algorithms are taught to understand sex, gender and sexuality through digital proxies and their potential to amplify discrimination. It will explore alternative frameworks for governing sexual technologies, including collective approaches to content moderation and data governance.


High Risk Hustling: Payment Processors Sexual Proxies and Discrimination by Design (2023)

Dr Zahra Stardust, Danielle Blunt, Gabriella Garcia, et al.

Journal article

Submission to the Meta Oversight Board RE Gender, Identity and Nudity (2023)

Dr Zahra Stardust


Safety for Whom? Investigating How Platforms Frame and Perform Safety and Harm Interventions (2022)

Dr Zahra Stardust, Dr Rosalie Gillett and Prof Jean Burgess

Journal article

Manifesto for sex positive social media (2022)

Dr Zahra Stardust  Zahra, Emily van der Nagel, Katrin  Tiidenberg, et al.


Automating Whorephoia: Sex, Technology and the Violence of Deplatforming (2021)

Dr Zahra Stardust and Danielle Blunt

Journal article


Zahra Stardust profile picture

Dr Zahra Stardust

Lead Investigator,

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ADM+S Chief Investigator Nic Suzor

Prof Nicolas Suzor

Chief Investigator,

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