Facebook creating 500 tech jobs in London to combat 'malicious content'

Facebook is expanding its London presence to gird against bad actors

Ramping up its fight against harmful activity, Facebook is planning to add 500 London-based software engineers by year's end.

To do this, Facebook plans to open a third office in London's Soho, with 100 of the new roles focusing around artificial intelligence. By the end of 2019, Facebook should employ more than 3,000 people in the English capital.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, made the announcement Wednesday at a London Tech Week event, saying, "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.”

Facebook frequently battles bad actors and brand safety crises. In March it had to remove over 1.5m videos of New Zealand's Christchurch attacks within 24 hours, which led to Facebook updating some features after facing pressure from advertisers.

Mendelsohn said she's in the "optimistic club" conerning AI's ability to clean up Facebook.

"I also think that London has a very important place to play in the future of artificial intelligence. To realize the full potential of AI, we do need enough people with the right skills, the right understanding, and the training working in this area, and [to] have the right environment for innovation and development.”

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