Facebook will create 1,000 new jobs in London this year, with many of them dedicated to identifying and removing harmful content, the BBC reports. The new hires will boost Facebook’s UK workforce to more than 4,000 employees. The move will be officially announced by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg later today at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Facebook’s vice-president for northern Europe, Steve Hatch, insisted the company took its responsibilities to police content seriously, pointing out that the company had detected and removed 2m posts from Facebook and 800,000 from Instagram.
He said the company had raised its game in this respect following the suicide of teenager Molly Russell in 2017. Following her death, her father, Ian, said he believed Instagram was partly responsible for his daughter's death, having found distressing material about depression and suicide when her family looked into her Instagram account.
"The tragic death of Molly Russell made us really stop in our tracks as a company and acknowledge that there was an issue that we need to do more on,” Hatch said. “We've been putting those changes in place steadily over the last 12 months…As systems get better they develop, they get better and more effective," he said. "Our aspiration is to remove every single piece of [harmful] content."