Facebook to add 1,000 more tech jobs in London

The social network is boosting its UK workforce to 4,000 as it builds the tools to tackle harmful content

Facebook will create 1,000 UK jobs across 2020 to help develop AI-based software to help remove harmful content on its social network.

COO Sheryl Sandberg will announce the workforce expansion on Tuesday at an event in London for small and medium-sized UK businesses.

The new roles will boost the company's UK workforce to 4,000 with over half of these being technology-based. The positions will be for software engineering, product design and data science, as well as developing products including Workplace and WhatsApp. These will also see the continued expansion of Facebook's AI, augmented reality, VR and engineering infrastructure teams in London. A large number of the openings will be in Facebook's Community Integrity team, which builds the tools and technology the company uses to detect and remove harmful content. 

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The Community Integrity team cover Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp and are responsible for everything from fighting spam and abuse to addressing violence and personal safety.  "London is home to Facebook's biggest engineering hub outside the US and we're committed to investing here for the long-term," Sandberg is expected to say.  "Many of these high-skilled jobs will help us address the challenges of an open internet and develop AI 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."

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London remains Facebook's largest engineering hub outside of the US. The social network is also in the process of constructing its new office space across two buildings in London's King's Cross, which is due to open in late 2021 and will have the potential to house up to 6,000 workstations.  "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," said the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

"Facebook's commitment to growing its business in the capital demonstrates that London is open and remains at the forefront of tech innovation."

In Septemeber, IBM's The Quant Crunch Report said that machine learning, big data and data science skills were the most challenging to recruit for, and can potentially create "the greatest disruption" if not filled. Which suggests that while Facebook's new job roles are a good thing, they won't necessarily find suitable candidates with the reported skills shortage. 

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