On Orwell

Orwell is the official news publication of the world's most successful and beloved Supreme Leader, the all-seeing and all-knowing Big Brother. It was founded in 2023 1984, and rapidly became the go-to news source for anyone seeking to avoid reeducation camp the truth about the world, about whom to blame and about which corporations and institutions to love.

The language of Orwell is Newspeak, an abridged rendition of English diabolically crafted to stifle your critical thinking the glorious pinnacle of linguistic achievement, eloquently defined by the 10th Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. The ideology of Orwell is English Socialism Ingsoc, and its authors are the utterly infallible Big Brother and his bungling minions, who still haven't managed to fix the constant syntax error messages that keep cropping up after every story in this website with lists of plain facts in plain English Oldspeak.

The scope of Orwell is universal. It presents news from our Orwellian comrades in both left-wing and right-wing politics. Its professional spy network team of savvy correspondents report from all corners of the world.

Seriously, On Orwell

Parody aside, Orwell is in fact a free news publication created by the Improve the News Foundation, an apolitical American non-profit. It was conceived to help defend democracy and civil liberties from creeping authoritarianism, surveillance, censorship, warmongering and other manipulation, in liberal democracies and beyond. It does this by parodying Big Brother, from George Orwell's 1984 novel, and his collaborators as they attempt to document and proudly publicize Orwellian tendencies from across the political spectrum and from around the world. Orwell is written with the help of AI software and entirely edited by humans.

The Improve the News Foundation was founded in October 2020 with the mission to empower people to rise above controversies and understand the world in a nuanced way. Its vision is a world where human society is endowed with reasoned compassion, constructive discourse and well-informed decision-making. To provide feedback on Orwell or for general inquiries, please write to contact@improvethenews.org.

This is an independent satire site with no formal affiliation to the Orwell Foundation and the Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell. Anyone contemplating making public use of George Orwell's name or works should respect their trademarks and also honor Orwell's legacy by not abusing it.

For more information on George Orwell, we strongly recommend visiting the website of the Orwell Foundation. To support the Orwell Foundation and its many important initiatives, click here.

To better understand the importance of George Orwell's work in current times we recommend watching this fun panel discussion with Steven Pinker (Harvard Professor), Jean Seaton (Orwell Foundation Director), David Taylor (Orwell biographer) and Max Tegmark (MIT Professor).


Are you criticizing the left or the right?

We're staunchly apolitical, and oppose Orwellian tendencies regardless of who promotes them. It's broadly agreed that authoritarian regimes both on the left (e.g. the Soviet Union) and on the right (e.g. fascists) have exhibited Orwellian tendencies. In the US, criticism about censorship and surveillance have come mainly from the left during the McCarthy era, but mainly from the right recently. Starting down the Orwellian slippery slope can be tempting for leaders of any political orientation because, as Lord Acton warned, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Why is this important?

Humanity is at a crossroads, faced with ever more consequential decisions. The better informed we all are by free and open discourse unencumbered by fear and intimidation, the more likely it is that humanity will make wise decisions and flourish rather than flounder.

Is 1984 already here?

Orwellian policies fall on a spectrum from mild to extreme, and Western democracies are obviously a far cry from Orwell's dystopia. However, a thriving democracy requires constant vigilance against Orwellian drift, especially since strategy #1 of any leader pushing an Orwellian policy will be to claim that it isn't Orwellian. As the saying goes, "The devil's greatest trick is to convince people that he doesn't exist".

Are you categorically against censorship?

No. We consider it reasonable to balance the right to free speech against harm from death threats, revenge porn, doxxing, espionage, etc. We therefore focus our criticism on more extreme and ridiculous forms of censorship that appear motivated by less noble motives such as retaining power, silencing criticism and suppressing political views opposed by the establishment.

Are you categorically against surveillance?

No. We consider it reasonable to balance the right to privacy against harm from criminal activity, etc. Therefore, our criticism is focused on more extreme and ridiculous forms of surveillance that appears motivated by less noble motives such as retaining power and harming political opponents. Examples that we consider unreasonable include FBI's controversial surveillance of e.g. Martin Luther King and the warrantless mass surveillance of US citizens that was ruled illegal by a U.S. Appeals Court.

Are you categorically against war?

No. But we oppose war and warmongering based on misinformation. For example, Hitler justified his invasion of Poland by claiming that Poland had attacked Germany, and examples of wars started via manufactured pretenses abound. Given the great humanitarian cost of war, we believe that claims supporting war must be subjected to extra scrutiny.

Why are your examples mainly from democracies, not from authoritarian regimes?

Because Orwellian tendencies of the latter are so numerous, obvious and well-known that covering them thoroughly would consume most of our time while adding very little that's not already well-covered by Western media. Also, just as a good parent puts special effort into helping make their own kids moral role models, a good citizen should put special effort into helping make their own institutions anti-Orwellian role models.