Mike Lindell experienced perhaps the least likely ascent to far right political stardom of anyone in the Trump era. The pillow magnate-turned-conspiratorial political pundit became one of former President Donald Trump’s most reliable defenders in the waning days of his presidency, cheerfully amplifying baseless claims about mass voter fraud. Such claims were eventually moderated by major social media platforms and Lindell was banned from Twitter, which has prompted him to launch a new initiative with laxer rules around spreading conspiracy theories …and stricter rules about all that dang swearing.
The site is called Frank. You can get “VIP access” right now for the price of a phone number, and the general public can register on Monday morning. Lindell describes it as a “YouTube/Twitter combination”
“You’re not going to have to worry about what you’re saying and worry about being able to speak out freely,” Lindell said in a video, although that’s not entirely true. “You don’t get to use the four swear words you know — the C-word, the N-word, the F-word, or God’s name in vain,” he continued. “Free speech is not pornography.”
Well, reading between the lines a little, a few of those slurs can get you in trouble on Facebook and Twitter as well, but …”God’s name in vain” does appear to be a limitation unique to Frank.
It’s a reference to the third commandment in the Bible, when God commands the Israelites to not take His name in vain. Although popularly construed as a warning against expressions like “oh my God” and “good Lord,” theologians understand the command as forbidding ascribing something to God that isn’t true. For example, taking an oath in God’s name (lying after swearing to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”) or using God’s name to boost your own fortunes (like many prosperity gospel teachers) could be considered taking the Lord’s name in vain.
It’s not clear exactly how you’d ban that sort of thing on a social media platform. But since it’s coming from the guy who credited God with the wisdom to say “God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God” during a speech with Trump, it’s safe to say that won’t be a huge concern.