For years the pseudonymous “Orwell & Goode” has operated one of the most popular Twitter accounts associated with the racist “alt-right.” A prolific Twitter user, Orwell had amassed over 125,000 followers by spreading screenshots of headlines from mainstream news outlets designed to engender a sense of disgust for feminism, racial equality, and LGBTQ rights.
His fans include right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, Neo-Nazi Mark Collett, and other extremist figures. Orwell even parlayed this popularity into a writing gig for National File, a far-right junk news website founded in 2019 by Tom Pappert which has provided cover for conspiracy theorists and white nationalists.
Over the years Orwell disclosed bits and pieces of personal information. On a libertarian-themed blog he started in 2016, Orwell boasted of his decision to move away from Britain. For years he listed his location as Buenos Aires, Argentina, but more recently filmed short videos from Chile. During a Dec. 30, 2019 livestream he told white supremacist vlogger Colin Robertson that he would be turning 30 the following year.
But, like many white nationalists before him, Orwell had gotten careless. Using clues gleaned from Orwell’s social media profiles, the anti-fascist Twitter user @WhiteRoseAFA revealed Orwell’s real name: Alex D. Wilkinson.
As “Orwell & Goode,” Wilkinson worked diligently to transform the views of his audience, pushing them further and further to the right. His preferred method wasn’t debating ideological opponents, however. As he told Jill Colton — a right-wing Canadian YouTube personality who spreads white nationalist and conspiratorial content — Internet memes and screenshots of headlines from online news sources are more effective than arguments.
As Wilkinson told Colton, “rational arguments” will “go over most of the populaces’ … heads.” It is, he said, preferable to appeal to emotions.
“[A] meme with a funny message, couple of words or a screencap of a headline that’s completely [and] utterly ridiculous, that has a higher chance of going viral than a well-structured, couple of paragraph-long piece on somebody’s opinion on how we can maybe get about to sorting things out in the Western world,” he said.
Indeed, Wilkinson’s roughly 57,000 tweets follow this strategy.
On Sept. 20, 2017 he tweeted a collage of headlines about the benefits of immigration, sarcastically writing “There is NO agenda.” On April 8, 2018 he tweeted a headline from a UK tabloid about a Chinese factory “mass producing ‘TRANSGENDER’ dolls.” On Oct. 1, 2019 he tweeted a headline about a teacher who was fired for misgendering a student, captioning it with “HONK” — a reference to an alt-right meme.
Even his avatar is disarming. On every platform he uses a picture of a Shiba Inu wearing sunglasses — a popular meme known as “Doge.” But on white supremacist podcasts, his own livestreams, and in his National File articles Wilkinson doesn’t bother to mask his extreme views on race, feminism, immigration, and LGBTQ rights.
On Happy Homelands, a YouTube show hosted by white nationalist Paul Ray Ramsey, Wilkinson (who described himself as “half Chilean”) lambasted the Chilean government for having “opened the floodgates” for thousands of Haitian immigrants. He claimed that the traditionally “nationalistic” Chilean populace has been “browbeaten” by the media into accepting immigrants, and referred to the situation as a “Haitian invasion.”
Following the massacre of 51 Muslim worshipers at two Christchurch, New Zealand mosques by an Australian white supremacist, Wilkinson made a guest appearance on The Minority Report — a white supremacist show that Paul Nehlen and Kevin MacDonald also appeared on. Instead of showing sympathy for the victims of the attack, Wilkinson complained that anti-immigrant activists were now facing a backlash in response.
“And of course they’re always saying about how the far-right is on the ascendency but, you know, the media calls anybody who’s against mass immigration far-right,” Wilkinson said. “They never ask themselves … what is driving this sort of anti-immigrant sentiment, what is driving this sort of anti-Islamic sentiment in Western countries. They don’t talk about that because they know that more people will come to the realization that they’ve been shafted by the government.”
During the same show, Wilkinson suggested the “great replacement” — a white supremacist conspiracy theory that inspired the Christchurch shooter’s attack — was actually true. And one of the Minority Report co-hosts referred to the shooter’s manifesto as “concise” and “well put together.”
Ten days after his appearance on The Minority Report, Wilkinson was a guest on Red Ice TV — an online show hosted by Swedish white nationalist and conspiracy theorist Henrik Palmgren. Both he and Palmgren fretted about social media crackdowns in response to the Christchurch attack. Wilkinson worried that people might no longer be able to post, for example, a “before and after image” of Birmingham, which now has a “very large Muslim population.”
“But if you take a picture of people going off to fight against the Nazis in the early ‘40s, [you] just see all these working-class whites – British men – just preparing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their countries,” he told Palmgren. “And then now you have literally tens of thousands of Muslims praying in their parks. There was one last year where around 140,000 Muslims turned up to pray in the park in Birmingham.”
He added that, “You tell people three generations ago that that’s going to be the end result of your country and they wouldn’t have crossed the English Channel. They would’ve just stayed at home and have a cup of tea.”
During the June 24, 2019 episode of the podcast So to Speak, Wilkinson agreed with host Jared Howe — a white supremacist and close confidante of Neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell — when he referred to immigration from Africa to Maine as the “intentional demographic genocide of white people.” Wilkinson told Howe it was “a sort of forced diversification of even sort of the remotest outposts of the Western world.”
(This was not the first time Wilkinson and Howe interacted in a livestream.)
In July 2019, Wilkinson interviewed a white supremacist who goes by the name “Wild Rich” and operates a Telegram channel where he celebrates acts of terrorism against minorities. “You’re not going to rationalize them or outbreed them or outvote them,” he wrote, referring to Muslims after the Christchurch attack. “They’ll need to be strung up from lampposts, dragged into the streets at night, gunned down en masse, and systematically eliminated like any other pest.”
Wilkinson used the occasion to promote a book Wild Rich wrote, and which he previously praised as “very good.” His now-defunct website New Media Central, where he was listed as “editor-at-large,” likewise promoted Wild Rich’s book, as well as a Neo-Nazi podcast called Right to Bryden.
Wilkinson also frequently co-hosted podcasts with a white supremacist who goes by the name “Question Most Things.”
“Question” once identified as an “ancap” — or anarcho-capitalist — according to an archived version of his Twitter profile. And in a July 28, 2020 episode of their Quaranstream show, Question told Wilkinson that he was once interested in “the MRA [“men’s rights activist”] type of stuff.” In that same episode he mocked Zoë Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian — targets of the misogynistic Gamergate movement.
On Twitter, where his handle was @QuestionMThings until he was finally suspended, he frequently spewed racist and antisemitic rhetoric.
In a tweet from Aug. 2019, Question tweeted a picture of a wooden door from the video game Minecraft, and wrote “Plz rt this humble wooden door.” Question’s tweet was an allusion to a popular claim made by Holocaust deniers, that gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau were fitted with wooden doors that were not air-tight and, therefore, could not have been used to murder Jewish prisoners.
In reply to Question’s tweet, a user with the handle @Adolfito1488 wrote, “I would put it on a gas chamber.”
In a tweet from Nov. 2019, Question tweeted a photo comparing a Black man to gorillas. On July 30, 2020 — under the name “CEO of White People” — Question told followers “Ready yourself [chimp] outs are coming,” in response to news that prosecutors, after reevaluating the Mike Brown murder case, would not bring charges against his killer, Darren Wilson. He also tweeted an image mocking the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer.
During the aforementioned Quaranstream episode, Question said that it was “horrendous” that Republican presidents never intervened to “shut down colleges teaching Marxism.” He added that it was “insane” that presidents had sent “people abroad to fight in Korea and Vietnam” without “shutting down Marxism at home.” Wilkinson responded by saying “McCarthyism was good, actually.”
And in a Jan. 2020 episode of their show Waking Up the West, Wilkinson voiced his disdain for multiculturalism, which he called “anti-nature” and “just a synonym for conflict.” He also discussed Black-on-white crime — a favorite topic of white nationalists. “[W]ell, we have an inkling as to what the interracial rape rates are,” he said. “We see it in America that Black-on-white is incredibly high and then white-on-Black is incredibly low.”
On Aug. 28, 2019 Wilkinson authored his first article for National File — a far-right website and disinfo hub — under the pen name “Lionel Du Cane.” (The website’s URL still includes “orwellngoode” however.) Wilkinson seemed to hint at the new job in late May 2019 when he told members of his Discord server (“Orwell & Goode’s Frens”) that he was finishing a book and would soon return to “stream[ing] most days” while “writ[ing] clickbait-style articles.”
“Clickbait” is an apt descriptor of Wilkinson’s National File work. There were headlines like “PENNSYLVANIA: ‘Gun-Like Gesture’ With Your Hand To Become A Crime” and “Woman Wants to Marry Airplane She’s Dated for 5 Years.” But many of Wilkinson’s roughly thousand articles for National File focused on spreading white nationalist conspiracies and portraying immigration as an “invasion.”
On Aug. 30, 2019, Wilkinson authored a piece about roughly “150 Sub-Saharan illegal immigrants” who “breached the Spanish-Morocco border at Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta.” The article’s subheading read: “Illegal immigration and invasion is becoming a worldwide phenomenon.” One day later he wrote another article headlined “INVASION: Migrants Storm Beach in United Kingdom.”
In a Sept. 12, 2019 article Wilkinson accused the “Mainstream Media” of “downplaying anti-white farm attacks” in South Africa. The belief that white South Africans, particularly white farmers, are being murdered as part of a “white genocide” is popular among white nationalists. In that article he also whitewashed South Africa’s apartheid-era flag as merely “Eurocentric,” and embedded a tweet by the Suidlanders, a South African white nationalist group.
As “Orwell & Goode’s” real identity spread across Twitter, his followers reacted with racist taunts and threats of violence. One sent photos of dead bodies to @WhiteRoseAFA via direct message on Twitter. But as his fans continue to impotently seethe, Wilkinson himself has pulled something of a disappearing act. Minutes after he was unmasked his Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts were deactivated.
He even shut down his account on Alt-Censored — an obscure YouTube clone
And it’s unclear how long Wilkinson will continue to lie low. His last article for National File — in which he falsely accused president-elect Joe Biden of supporting gender confirmation surgery for transgender children as young as 8 — was published in late October. What is clear is that Wilkinson can no longer hide behind his inoffensive avatar and Internet memes.