Frank Speech Failed Its First Mission
As a marketer, I keep up with a slew of trends. That includes hopping onto new social media platforms, regardless of politics. So, of course, I signed up for VIP access to Frank — Mike Lindell’s network that supposedly will support a billion people.
But it didn’t happen. Lindell promised VIP access at midnight Friday, April 16th. The only requirement? Provide your cell number and confirm the access code sent via text. Quick and easy.
I went to bed early, setting the alarm for 11:50 pm. By alarm, I mean I asked my husband to do anything necessary to rouse me out of bed. Twenty minutes later, I found myself on Twitter wondering if I was the only one who didn’t receive a notification. I wasn’t; a few dozen others also wondered what was happening.
Then I realized Lindell never mentioned a time zone. So I checked again at 1 am, 2 am, and yes, 3 am. Nothing. I ignored the random tweets giving “inside info” on when VIPs could hop on. I went back to bed and forwent setting another alarm.
As of late afternoon Friday, Frank is still collecting cell numbers. But no one’s reporting they have access. The website was then updated to say VIP access will be Sunday (no time listed), a mere day before registration is due to open up for the world.
I want to thank all of you that have signed up for VIP access and all the media personalities that have signed up to be part of our broadcast network. That response has been amazing. The influencers are busy putting up amazing content. If you have VIP access you will be able to enter the site on Sunday.
— official statement posted on the Frank website
While Lindell broke the network’s first promise, what’s more interesting is the lack of attention Frank is getting from its target audience. Twitter has been fairly quiet on the #frankspeech hashtag, leading some to believe the platform is throttling discussions. Lindell’s Telegram channel posted about Frank to not much more fanfare than any other content it shares with its 200,000 subscribers. Facebook doesn’t show any crazy activity either.
Then there’s Lindell’s reveal of what won’t be allowed on the platform. Frank won’t allow certain curse words — including the f-word — and users cannot take God’s name in vain. Lindell’s announcement sparked controversy over whether the First Amendment covers such language or if Frank will be a “free speech with limits” platform.
While existing platforms struggle to find the best balance between protected speech and incitement of violence and hate, Frank is letting down potential users before it even goes live.
In March 2021, Lindell announced the social media platform would be a cross between Twitter and YouTube. Initially named Vocl, Creatd, which owns the content platform Vocal, threatened to sue for trademark infringement. Shortly after, Lindell said the new network — Frank — would go live in April.
Frank, according to Lindell, will run on its dedicated servers, bypassing reliance on big tech for hosting. There’s no Apple or Google app; Frank is a mobile web application that runs in the browser.
When Frank does launch, influencers will immediately put Lindell’s other statements to the test. In March, he promised users would have ten times more followers and assured influencers could ditch other networks like Twitter and YouTube.
“That technology, where you’re gonna have ten times more of an audience… You’re never gonna have to worry about a YouTube or a Twitter again. Jack Dorsey and Mr. Google — they are gonna be a thing of the past as far as those two entities go.”
Until then, future users and enthusiasts await word on whether Lindell belongs in the social media sphere.