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Robyn Caplan

Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Sanford School of Public Policy
111 Sanford Bldg., Durham, NC 27708


Robyn Caplan is an Assistant Professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, and a Senior Lecturing Fellow in the Center for Science & Society at Duke University. She is also a Researcher Affiliate at Data & Society Research Institute, where she worked as a Senior Researcher, an Affiliate at the Center for Information Technology and Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill, and a founding member of the Platform Governance Research Network. She received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. She conducts research at the intersection of platform governance and media policy. Her research examines the impact of inter-and-intra-organizational behavior on platform governance and content moderation. Her most recent work examines the history of the verified badge (the blue checkmark) at platforms. 

Caplan’s work has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Communications, Social Media + Society, First MondayBig Data & Society, and Feminist Media Studies. Her work has been featured by publications like The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired, NBC, and Al Jazeera. She has conducted research on a variety of issues regarding data-centric technological development on society, including government data policies, media manipulation, and the use of data in policing.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy · 2023 - Present Sanford School of Public Policy
Senior Lecturing Fellow in the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2023 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Rutgers University · 2021 Ph.D.
New York University · 2012 M.A.
University of Toronto (Canada) · 2008 B.Sc.