Facebook has said it will create 500 new technology jobs in London by the end of 2019, as the social media giant formally opened a new engineering centre in the city.
Based at new company offices in Soho, the roles will include 100 people working in artificial intelligence (AI) and will increase Facebook’s total workforce in London to more than 3,000.
The social networking giant said a significant number of the new jobs will be in its community integrity team, which is responsible for user safety, and will include building software to fight spam and other malicious content.
The work involves building systems to detect and remove malicious content as well as fake accounts from the platform, and creating review systems used by human members of Facebook’s moderation team.
Announcing the new jobs at London Tech Week, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Nicola Mendelsohn said: “Safety is our top priority at Facebook and over the last two years we’ve substantially increased our investment in this area.
“These hundreds of new jobs demonstrate not only our commitment to the UK but also our determination to do everything we can to keep Facebook safe and secure.
“Many of these new roles will accelerate our artificial intelligence work in London as we continue developing technology to proactively detect and remove malicious content.”
London is Facebook’s largest engineering hub outside of the United States.
The social network has previously pledged to increase the size of its safety team following a number of incidents around malicious, extremist or sensitive content appearing on the site, as well as issues around data privacy and the use of personal information gathered from users.
At a summit with world leaders in May, Facebook was one of five major tech firms which agreed to introduce new measures to help eliminate violent and terrorist content from the internet.
In response to the Christchurch mosque shootings earlier this year which were live-streamed online and widely shared, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Twitter agreed on a nine-point plan to improve their policies on violent content, as well as increase collaboration in order to fight the spread of such content.
Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said of the new job creation: “I welcome this new Facebook investment. It is a timely reminder we have the skills, location and language digital firms need to succeed, and a positive step which will see UK expertise helping to develop tech solutions to tackle harmful behaviour worldwide.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan added: “This investment is great news for the capital and is further proof that London is open to talent and to new investment in our thriving tech sector.
“I’ve been calling for stronger action by businesses and government to tackle malicious and harmful content, so it’s good to see Facebook taking further steps to protect its users.”