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Facebook to hire 1,000 new UK employees in boost to its engineering division

Image credit: PA

Facebook has announced it will hire 1,000 new employees in London, many of whom will be working on technologies to remove harmful content, as it looks to grow its largest engineering hub outside the US.

In an interview, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Nicola Mendelsohn said over half of the new jobs will be in technology, including software engineering and data science.

The move will come as some relief to the Brexit-stricken UK which has seen many large global firms think twice about setting up shop in the country over concerns about its future relationship with the EU.

The firm’s Community Integrity (CI) team will be bolstered, 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.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Facebook’s growth was “great news”. “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,” he said.

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, as it plans to build new offices in London's Kings Cross to open in late 2021.

Other positions will also expand on Facebook’s artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality and engineering infrastructure teams in the capital.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, is to announce the development to small and medium-sized businesses in London on Tuesday morning.

“The UK is a world leader in both innovation and creativity,” she is expected to say.

“That’s why I’m excited that we plan to hire an additional 1,000 people in London this year alone.

“London is home to Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside the US and we’re committed to investing here for the long-term.

“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.”

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