Wednesday 12 June 2019 10:47 am

Facebook to create 500 tech jobs in London as it opens new engineering hub

Facebook has said it will create 500 new tech jobs in London by the end of the year as it launches a new engineering centre in Soho.

Roughly 100 of the new roles will be in artificial intelligence, with many of the employees working to detect and remove malicious content, fake accounts and other harmful behaviour, the company said.

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The social media firm plans to employ more than 3,000 people across its three London sites by the end of the year, as it ramps up its presence in the capital.

“Safety is our top priority at Facebook and over the last two years we’ve substantially increased our investment in this area,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“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.”

Facebook and other social media giants have come under increased scrutiny in recent months over their policies towards harmful content posted to their platforms.

The government has laid the groundwork for future regulation to ensure the companies have a duty of care over their users.

But industry groups have warned the measures could have a disproportionate impact on the UK’s tech sector, as well as serious implications for freedom of expression.

However, Facebook’s expansion in London is the latest vote of confidence in the capital as a global tech hub.

London is now the social media firm’s largest engineering hub outside the US, with 1,800 people employed in technology and engineering by the end of the year.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “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.”

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It comes weeks after Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook, chose London as the home for its new payments hub. The messaging app has said it is looking to recruit 100 members of staff for the new base.

Apple is currently constructing its new London headquarters at Battersea Power Station, while Google has begun work on its sprawling £1bn campus in King’s Cross.