Paul Barrett

“The notion that there is a difference between fact and fiction is being undermined”

Paul Barrett is the deputy director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at York University’s Stern School of Business. He joined the Center in September 2017
after working for more than three decades as a journalist and author focusing on the
intersection of business, law, and society. Most recently, he worked for 12 years for
Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, where he served at various times as the editor of
an award-winning investigative team and a writer covering topics such as energy and
the environment, military procurement, and the civilian firearm industry. From 1986 to
2005, he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, serving as the newspaper’s Supreme Court
corespondent and later as the page one special projects editor.

Paul is the author of four critically acclaimed nonfiction books, the most recent of which are GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun, a New York Times Bestseller, and THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win. Both of those books were optioned for Hollywood movies.

At the Center for Business and Human Rights, Paul has focused primarily on
researching and writing a series of reports on the role and obligations of the social
media industry in a democracy. Specific topics have included the problems of foreign
and domestic disinformation, the consequences of outsourced content moderation, and the debate over the liability of social media platforms for content posted by their users.

Since 2008, Paul has served as an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law. He co-
teaches a seminar called “Law, Economics, and Journalism,” in which students learn to
analyze social issues with the tools of those three professions.

Paul has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Harvard College.