Frankly, there was more excitement waiting for April the giraffe to give birth to her second calf in Denver than for a new social media site glamorizing the First Amendment to launch. Much like a baby giraffe drops from a standing mama, Frank’s highly anticipated launch fell flat. A lot. From a great distance. To say folks were both disappointed and elated would be a gross understatement. Big-tech enemies chortled with competitive glee while free-speech advocates grumbled about error messages.
Was it an all-out attack by the media juggernauts or simply technical difficulties? Were the waters too muddied by lawsuits, class-war rivalries, or bragger’s rights? Perhaps a mixture of all.
The day dawned with anticipation for Frank to be a non-cursing, open-discussion forum for those folks appreciating freedom of speech. Owner Mike Lindell of MyPillow fame claims all political ideologies are welcome to join, comment, and criticize without fear of being banned, as he and his pal Donald J. Trump were booted off Twitter permanently for questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election and censored by Facebook’s fact-checking zealots.
At 8:00 a.m. Central Time April 19, fevered potential users logged on to find error message 502. A few minutes after the scheduled launch time, there was another message: 500 internal server error. Lovers of the U.S. Constitution slogged away until seeing a Parler message from Lindell saying the website is “having a massive attack against it currently.” Several more attempts throughout the morning finally netted a video with a live message saying it would be “sometime” today.
Yes, Lindell insinuated he was battling behemoth competitors. Although, as Liberty Nation had reported, Pillow Man had taken precautions:
“Mr. Lindell has apparently done his best to create a platform for everyone and firewall-prevent the ability of technology giants to take down Frank. He owns outright the servers that host the site, and he is confident protections are in place. Will this have the tech giants hacking and whacking and attempting to stop the pillow man for sport or spite?”
Maybe. But could it be retaliation for the MyPillow $1.6 billion lawsuit filed by attorney Alan Dershowitz against Dominion Voting Systems, whose election technology came under scrutiny during the 2020 election? The lawsuit is in retaliation for Dominion suing Lindell and other citizens for defamation – over criticisms made in the wake of the election. After Dominion’s suit was filed, MyPillow products were pulled from more than 20 retailers and cost him $65 million in lost revenue this year. Dershowitz says it’s the most important free speech case in more than a century. That is ruffling a few feathers for sure.
Frank-A-Thon Is On
Lindell did not release details on the site’s failure to launch but did say it was “probably the biggest ever” and followed with, “I don’t know if it was bots or what.” It was sad and a bit embarrassing. However, Lindell assured that his bugs are being sprayed, and folks will be able to sign up soon enough.
Millions stared at their screens, refreshed the browser, and finally were given a link to a live feed with Frank featuring Lindell, big conservative names, and regular Jills and Joes telling their tales of censorship and punishment. And by late afternoon, there were well more than 31 million hits. And some would describe that as franking amazing.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.