Facebook vows to create 1,000 UK jobs this year as it ramps up efforts to rid the website of abusive and violent content
- Social network said new recruits will work in technology-focused roles
- These will include software engineering, product design and data science
- Staff will develop WhatsApp and Workplace, its business version of Facebook
- Many in Community Integrity will help detect and removes harmful content
- Facebook says it is keen to invest in UK despite ‘uncertainty’ because of Brexit
Facebook plans to hire 1,000 more people in the UK by the end of 2020, with a large number working on technologies to remove harmful content.
The social network said more than half of the recruits will work in technology-focused roles across software engineering, product design and data science, as well as developing the WhatsApp app, and Workplace, its business-skewed version of Facebook.
Many will work within the firm’s Community Integrity (CI) team, which builds the tools used to detect and remove harmful content across Facebook’s platforms, addressing issues from spam and abuse to violence and personal safety.
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks today during a press conference in London to announce the social media company’s plans to hire 1,000 more people in the UK
London is Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside of the US, and the platform is currently building new office space in King’s Cross, due to open in late 2021.
The latest additions will bring its total employee count in the UK to more than 4,000 by the end of the year, the company said.
Positions will also expand on Facebook’s artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality and engineering infrastructure teams in the capital.
Boris Johnson said the announcement was ‘another sign of the strength of our dynamic tech sector’.
Employees walk in the lobby at Facebook’s London headquarters at Rathbone Place in 2017
‘The UK is at the centre of tech growth and innovation, and is leading the way as the world’s biggest tech hub outside of Silicon Valley,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘It’s great news Facebook plans to create 1,000 more jobs in London – yet another sign of the strength of our dynamic tech sector.
‘The UK is successfully creating both homegrown firms at the forefront of cutting-age technologies, such as artificial intelligence, whilst attracting established global tech giants like Facebook.
‘We are committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online, alongside being one of the best places for technology companies to be based.’
Facebook’s London offices at Rathbone Place are pictured. The latest additions will bring its total employee count in the UK to more than 4,000 by the end of the year, the company said
Making the announcement in London, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that despite ‘uncertainty’ because of Brexit, the social network remained keen to invest in the UK, calling it ‘a world leader in both innovation and creativity’.
‘London is now our biggest engineering hub outside the US. It is home to our community integrity team that is doing such important work to keep people safe on our platforms, working to take down harmful content and keep people safe,’ she said.
‘Now, we know there’s been some uncertainty about Britain’s future. And we believe the UK is an important place for us to invest.
‘So today we’re really pleased to announce that we’re hiring another thousand people in London just this year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured at a UK-Africa reception at Buckingham Palace last night) said the announcement was ‘another sign of the strength of our dynamic tech sector’
‘These are highly skilled jobs to help us address the challenges of an open internet, and we’ll also be opening a new office in King’s Cross in 2021.’
‘Many of these high-skilled jobs will help us address the challenges of an open internet and develop artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly.
‘They will also help us build the tools that help small businesses grow, compete with larger companies and create new jobs.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: ‘London’s tech sector is a global success story and the 1,000 new jobs Facebook is creating shows that our city has the talent to attract tech companies of all sizes from across the world.
‘Facebook’s commitment to growing its business in the capital demonstrates that London is open and remains at the forefront of tech innovation.’