Jerry Barnett is the founder and primary writer at Sex & Censorship. In addition to his campaigning and writing work he is an author, photographer, technologist and entrepreneur. He lives in London. His book, Porn Panic!, was published by Zero Books in August 2016.
Jerry has written extensively, both on this blog and elsewhere, on a variety of political subjects including sexual and racial politics, free speech, censorship and science. A small selection of Jerry’s articles is listed below:
Silencing “hate speech” doesn’t stop hate (Huffington Post UK)
Porn, women’s rights, and the left (Counterpunch)
Why is the UK the most censored nation in Europe? (Pirate Party UK)
Porn for Women: What do Women Really Watch? (Sex & Censorship)
The Biology of Prostitution (Sex & Censorship)
Why I Set Up the Sex & Censorship Campaign (Rude Mag)
Let those involved in porn speak for themselves (Independent Voices)
Jerry has made frequent radio appearances. He featured as a witness on Radio 4’s The Moral Maze to discuss pornography. The programme can be listened to online here.
Jerry had been a political activist since first attending anti-racism protests as a teenager in the late-70s. He began working as a software engineer and technical consultant in the mid-80s, and for a decade worked for a number of leading technology brands. When, in the mid-1990s, the worldwide web changed the face of computing, he saw an opportunity to set up a web software business.
Seemingly inevitably, he began to work for the online adult entertainment industry, which represented the largest and most profitable online business at the time. His customers included well known industry names such as Private and Playboy TV. He later set up his own pay-per-view service, Strictly Broadband – in its day, this became Britain’s “Netflix of pornography”. The online adult industry peaked in 2007, and went into steep decline following the arrival of the free content model.
As a participant in adult entertainment, Jerry saw first-hand how the British censorship state, aided by morality campaigners, was trying to regain control of a medium that reduced their power, influence and financial gain. The UK is the most censored society in Europe, but censorship laws designed for a world of cinema, TV and video no longer worked in the digital age, and vested interests were determined to seize back their power.
He became chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA), and a member of the Policy Council of US-based industry body, IFFOR (the International Foundation for Online Responsibility).
After closing his business in 2012, he founded the Sex & Censorship campaign, with the aims of countering misinformation about sexual expression in the media, opposing the drive towards more state censorship and defending sexual freedom. He believes that the dangerous drive towards censorship is really not about porn: that just makes for a convenient excuse.
He regularly makes media appearances, participates in university debates, and speaks publicly. Please contact Jerry Barnett via this blog for interviews and speaking engagements.