Recently, we instituted a plan to track the number of pages on our site visited by readers, with the intention of limiting free page views and encouraging paid subscriptions. Many readers have unfortunately found relatively simple workarounds that have allowed them to cheat this system. We have therefore been forced to develop our own proprietary technology to better enforce this policy.
This technology, code-named FRANK, is actually named FRANK and should be arriving at your door shortly. Please allow him to enter. FRANK will be personally monitoring your visits to our website, using his eyes, and, in some cases, his snout. Despite appearances, FRANK is mostly harmless, assuming you do not exceed your allowed page visits. FRANK requires just three meals a day, and a bathroom break every four hours. He will, of course, take your computer, smartphone, tablet, and up to eight of your fingers into the bathroom with him, so as to prevent you from impermissibly accessing our site.
For the past six months, we have been testing FRANK with a select group of readers who accidentally volunteered to be part of the initial trial. Their response has been overwhelming, and we have terminated their access to our site, other sites, and most of their friends and families. Their experience gave us some insight into how to best improve our FRANK technology. For instance, we are taking steps to minimize FRANK’s odour. We are also working with some of the world’s leading scientists to limit the amount of hair that FRANK will shed during typical use. We are confident that these improvements will lead to a better user experience.
Our beta testing also revealed a number of flaws that we have taken steps to correct. Many of you may be accessing our site from work. FRANK will now be accompanying you to the office. Most states, however, do not permit you to count FRANK when determining your eligibility for carpool lanes. Consult your local transit agency for further details. FRANK will also be monitoring all sleep activity to ensure that you are not even dreaming about accessing any of the pages on our site. Please allow FRANK to properly place our sensors along your hairline, and also be sure to make adequate room for FRANK in your bed. FRANK prefers to sleep on the side closest to the door, with at least two pillows. You will be responsible for providing pyjamas.
Some of you may be wondering if you can still access our site through search engines, blogs, Facebook, or Twitter. The answer is no, unless you want FRANK to start barking. FRANK’s barks will alert your neighbours — and the appropriate authorities — that you have violated your agreement with our site and exceeded your monthly allotment of views. The barks will grow louder as you continue to violate our terms, culminating in one shrill, deafening bark that will last for as long as it takes you to close your Internet browser, reboot your computer, get FRANK a glass of water, and apologize for making him do that. It’s even worse for him than it is for you. Please try and show some consideration.
If you are currently a digital subscriber, that subscription has no bearing on your monthly access limits, but you will be the first to receive upgrades to our latest FRANK technology, as well as the opportunity to purchase custom outfits and accessories for your FRANK. These may include socks, rain gear, sunglasses, and a toothbrush. FRANK has been known to resist brushing his teeth, but if you insist, he will eventually comply.
We hope you have enjoyed the free, unmonitored access to our site up until this point, and understand the economic forces that require us to make this change. In the end, we believe this will allow us to strengthen our ability to continue providing the world’s most rigorous and insightful journalism. To become a member of our site, and allow your own personal FRANK to be released from our custody and into the wild, where we believe he may very well thrive, please click on the link below and provide appropriate credit card information. All of us — and especially FRANK, who is currently watching you with one of his many, many eyes — thank you for your support.