Facebook to Create 10,000 new EU Jobs
Facebook has announced plans to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the European Union over the next five years. It is part of what the social media giant is describing as it’s work on development of the metaverse which the company describes as ‘a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.’
The company is calling the investment a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent.
In a blog on the Facebook website written by Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice-President of Global Affairs and former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Javier Olivan, Facebook’s VP of Central Products, the metaverse is described as ‘the idea that by creating a greater sense of “virtual presence,” interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person.’
Facebook cites collaboration between companies, developers, creators and policymakers as key to the development of the metaverse saying that ‘like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability.’
Referencing the advantages in creating the new jobs within the EU, Facebook references the bloc’s ‘large consumer market, first class universities and top-quality talent’ and says European companies are ‘at the cutting edge of several fields.’
Facebook has faced increased criticism including for revelations from a whistleblower and former product manager who is due to give evidence to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on the draft Online Safety Bill on October 25th.
Frances Haugen leaked thousands of internal documents to the Wall Street Journal some of which detailed Facebook’s awareness of the negative impact of some of its apps, including Instagram, particularly on young girls.
Ms. Haugen’s appearance before the UK Joint Committee will be her first appearance in Europe and it is believed that an invitation for her to testify before the EU parliament is forthcoming. The EU is currently working on a Digital Services Act, due to be passed in 2022, which is aimed at making the internet and social media safer and protecting the rights of users.
The Data Protection Commission in Ireland, home to Facebook’s EMEA Headquarters, recently fined WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, €225m for a series of data protection breaches.
Despite the EU’s increased scrutiny of the company, the Facebook blog says, ‘the EU also has an important role to play in shaping the new rules of the internet. European policymakers are leading the way in helping to embed European values like free expression, privacy, transparency and the rights of individuals into the day-to-day workings of the internet. Facebook shares these values and we have taken considerable action over the years to uphold them. We hope to see the completion of the Digital Single Market to support Europe’s existing advantages, as well as stability on international data flows, which are essential to a flourishing digital economy.’