Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and media critic whose writing appears regularly in national and international media including The Atlantic, The Nation, Verge, Quartz, TIME, Salon, The Guardian and The New Statesman. She speaks frequently on topics related to inclusivity, free speech, sexualized violence, data and technology. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, an international civil society network dedicated to expanding women’s civic and political participation. She currently serves on the national boards of the Women's Media Center and Women, Action and the Media, as well as on the advisory councils of the Center for Democracy and Technology, VIDA, and Common Sense Media. As an activist, Ms. Chemaly has spear-headed multiple successful campaigns challenging corporations to address online harassment and abuse, restrictive content moderation and censorship, and institutional biases that affect free speech.
Prior to 2010, Ms. Chemaly spent more than fifteen years as a market development executive and consultant in the media and data technology industries. In the early 1990s, after several years at the Gannett Corporation, where she was involved in establishing the newspaper industry’s first subscriber and advertisers databases, she moved into the datatech sector with Claritas Inc. These work experiences give her unique insights into internet data development, leading her to fight vigorously again their abuses.
In 2013, Soraya won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC)'s Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy and the Secular Woman Feminist Activism Award. In 2014, she was named one of Elle Magazine's 25 Inspiring Women to Follow in social media. In 2016, Soraya was the recipient of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press’s Women and Media Award. In 2017, she was the co-recipient of the Newhouse Mirror Award for Best Single Feature of 2016 for an in-depth investigative report on free speech and online content moderation, The Secrets of The Internet, and a Wikipedia Distinguished Service Award, for exemplary contributions to the advancement of public knowledge and the collection, development, and dissemination of educational content. She is the author of the upcoming book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.