Facebook has announced a major investment in Ireland with a plan to create 1,000 new jobs in 2019.
The jobs will be spread across its 60 teams including sales, engineering and marketing but the team that will see the biggest expansion on the back of this announcement will be content policy and moderation.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, talking to Facebook's Gather conference in Dublin, said this focus was a key priority for the company in order to address "the safety and security of Facebook's users; the commitment to cracking down on fake accounts and false news; strengthening defences against election interference; and being even more transparent in how it operates and makes decisions, to make itself more publicly accountable".
Ms Sandberg affirmed Facebook’s continued commitment to its Irish operation, which is the largest outside its headquarters in California.
Separately, Ms Sandberg announced a €1 million investment in Ireland's National Anti-Bullying Centre while on a visit to the Dublin City University campus. The investment is the largest of its kind in Ireland and across Europe.
Following her address to 500 attendees from across Europe at Croke Park, Ms Sandberg talked to teachers and parents about Facebook’s plans for creating online safety resources for teens through its partnership with SpunOut.ie as well as plans for teacher training to educate schools on cyberbullying.
Ms Sandberg said: “We know that we’ll never completely stop the bad from happening, but we’re committed to putting in the work and making significant investments, even when they impact our bottom line. Keeping children safe is one of our most important responsibilities at Facebook.”
Commmenting on the investment, Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland, said: "This will go towards teacher training programmes to help schools understand and identify online bullying and there will be activities and events held in Facebook's International headquarters as part of this."
Successful safety tools developed in conjunction with the Anti-Bullying Centre at Dublin City University are likely to be rolled out worldwide for use by Facebook’s 2.2 billion users: “We’re working towards the centre’s agenda and this is primarily an Irish initiative but we always try and roll out our best practices,” added Lambe.
In November 2018, Facebook announced that it had agreed terms to lease the high-profile, 14-acre Bankcentre campus in Ballsbridge, which would allow it to add 5,000 staff to its Irish operation in the coming years.
In total the Ballsbridge campus, which has been occupied by AIB, will be able to accommodate more than 7,000 employees. Facebook plans to develop the site over the next three years, with the first group of staff due to move there in late March or April next year.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to relocate the 2,200 staff from its Grand Canal Square building in Dublin’s south docks.