Free speech is often seen as a cornerstone of the secular movement, with the internet playing a central role in supporting the “marketplace of ideas.” But what happens when the internet isn’t as unbiased as we think it is? Soraya Chemaly explains how when women are left out of technology decision-making, it can often lead to dire consequences for their online participation and compromise the very principle of freedom of speech.
Soraya Chemaly is a writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion and media. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, both of which are involved in curbing online abuse, improving media and tech diversity, and expanding women’s freedom of expression. Her work appears regularly in a variety of media, including TIME, The Guardian, The Nation, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and Role/Reboot.
This presentation was given at the Women in Secularism 4 Conference in Washington, DC on Saturday, September 24th, 2016.