Online therapy company Talkspace is pulling out of a partnership with Facebook because the social media platform has failed to moderate posts from President Trump.
After the president Tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in response to nationwide riots several days ago, Talkspace's CEO made the announcement on Twitter, saying “We will not support a platform that incites violence, racism and lies.”
Frank told CNBC that the deal between the two companies was as content partners, with Facebook being able to use Talkspace to provide free therapy to certain audiences. When the two companies first started talking, Frank said, they were focusing their efforts on students.
Talkspace's blog gets about a million views per month and the deal would have involved Talkspace generating content for Facebook. Frank said the deal would have paid his company six figures.
Frank told CNBC: “It’s a huge potential opportunity and a relationship with the largest media company in the world. I don’t think they are evil people, but do think they turned out to be an evil company.”
Facebook has taken a turn toward mental health in the last few years. Both Facebook and Instagram have caught some of the blame for increasing people's anxiety because of time spent on the social networks.
Frank has been a long-time critic of Facebook, even describing social media as the "new cigarettes" in 2016.
Frank said the deal was in its final stages and he canceled it after reading the news this weekend.
Facebook employees, meanwhile, staged a "virtual walkout" to protest the President's statements last Thursday. Facebook, as a platform, did not regulate Trump's post. Twitter, on the other hand, placed a warning on Trump's statement late last week.
“We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback,” Facebook concluded.