Ariana Tobin

Engagement Editor and Reporter

Photo of Ariana Tobin

Ariana is engagement editor and reporter at ProPublica, working on community-sourced investigations. She has focused on technology and problematic labor practices, from Facebook-fueled discriminatory ads, large-scale layoffs of older workers at IBM and misclassified customer service representatives in the gig economy. Her reporting has contributed to three consecutive Gerald Loeb awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards, a SABEW Best in Business award and a Barlett & Steele bronze award.

She previously worked as an engagement editor at The Guardian, as a digital producer for APM’s Marketplace, and as a podcast producer at WNYC. There, she helped launch the multi-platform Bored and Brilliant and Infomagical series, which analyzed information on nearly 30,000 participants’ smartphone habits and earned her an Online News Association MJ Bear Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in outlets including The New Republic, The New York Times, the St. Louis Beacon and Bustle. She studied on a Fulbright grant in Minsk, Belarus. She is currently lead trainer for the Balkans Investigative Reporting Network’s Engaged Citizens Reporting program.

A New Suit Seeks to Turn Arbitrations, a Tool of Big Corporations, Against a Top Customer Service Provider

Arise Virtual Solutions has been accused of cheating its vast network of customer service agents. The suit, which cites ProPublica’s reporting, seeks a decision that could trigger a wave of tiny legal actions against Arise.

“We’re Not Allowed to Hang Up”: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service

In their own voices, seven customer service representatives reveal what it’s like being caught between abusive callers and demanding employers.

All a Gig-Economy Pioneer Had to Do Was “Politely Disagree” It Was Violating Federal Law and the Labor Department Walked Away

An Obama administration Labor Department investigator estimated that Arise Virtual Solutions owed its network of 20,000 customer service agents $14.2 million. The company paid nothing.

Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Talk to You

Arise Virtual Solutions, part of the secretive world of work-at-home customer service, helps large corporations shed costs at the expense of workers. Now the pandemic is creating a boom in the industry.

Do You Work in Customer Service? We’d Like to Hear About Your Work-From-Home Jobs.

Have you worked with a contractor such as Arise, Sykes, LiveOps or Concentrix? We want to learn more about how customer service works at big companies like Apple, Intuit, Disney and Airbnb.

Giving Voice to Alaska’s Unheard Sexual Assault Survivors

We’re publishing our most ambitious effort yet to give voice to those who have been sexually assaulted in Alaska. We have talked to hundreds of survivors over the past year who have shared their stories.

Are You in Coronavirus Quarantine? Tell Us What Authorities Told You So We Can Make Sure It’s Right.

We’re collecting instructions state and local health departments have given about coronavirus quarantines. Help us hear from every state and city.

Facebook Ads Can Still Discriminate Against Women and Older Workers, Despite a Civil Rights Settlement

New research and Facebook’s own ad archive show that the company’s new system to ensure diverse audiences for housing and employment ads has many of the same problems as its predecessor.

Employers Used Facebook to Keep Women and Older Workers From Seeing Job Ads. The Federal Government Thinks That’s Illegal.

In a first, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that companies violated civil rights law through their use of Facebook’s targeting advertising.

New York Is Investigating Whether Facebook Lets Advertisers Discriminate

The state’s Department of Financial Services will look into allegations, first exposed by ProPublica, that advertisers can exclude users by race, gender, age and other characteristics that are protected under federal law.

Civil Rights Groups Have Been Warning Facebook About Hate Speech In Secret Groups For Years

Facebook says its rules prohibit hate in secret groups, but it won’t discuss how it moderated the offensive Border Patrol posts — if it did anything at all.

Did You Pay to Use TurboTax? Help Us Hold the Tax Prep Industry Accountable.

Readers have helped us figure out exactly how TurboTax maker Intuit and other companies make money off taxpayers. We want to hear more.

Have You Worked at Intuit or Another Tax Prep Company? Know Something About TurboTax? We’d Like to Hear From You.

We’d like to hear about your experience in the tax prep software industry with companies like Intuit, H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt.

Here Are Your Stories of Being Tricked Into Paying by TurboTax. You Often Need the Money.

Help us reach more people. We need you to share some things.

HUD Sues Facebook Over Housing Discrimination and Says the Company’s Algorithms Have Made the Problem Worse

The charge comes a week after Facebook made major changes to its advertising platform, and two years after our reporting raised the issue.

Facebook Won’t Let Employers, Landlords or Lenders Discriminate in Ads Anymore

The sweeping changes come two years after ProPublica’s reporting, which sparked lawsuits and widespread outrage.

Facebook Moves to Block Ad Transparency Tools — Including Ours

Our tool had let the public see exactly how users were being targeted by advertisers. The social media giant urged us to shut it down last year.

What Engagement Reporting Does — and Doesn’t — Mean at ProPublica

So you’ve filled out a questionnaire, signed up for an investigation or talked with one of our engagement reporters. Here’s what to expect from this kind of journalism.

Long Lines Test Voter Patience Across the Nation

With waits at polling places sometimes exceeding an hour, some voters turn away as poll workers wrestle with malfunctioning equipment and overflow crowds.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica