Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in Europe to build a ‘metaverse’ – The Journal

Facebook announces plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new IT platform

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) – Facebook has announced plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform that promises to connect people virtually but could raise challenges concerns about privacy and the social platform gaining more control over people’s online lives.

The company said in a blog post on Sunday that these highly skilled workers would help build “the metaverse,” a futuristic notion of online connection that uses augmented and virtual reality.

Facebook executives have touted the metaverse as the next big thing after mobile internet, though their track record is uneven in predicting future trends. Expectations CEO Mark Zuckerberg made four years ago of taking a virtual vacation with distant loved ones via headphones or using a smartphone camera to virtually upgrade an apartment have so far not materialized. .

The company is also grappling with antitrust crackdowns, testimony from a former employee whistleblower, and concerns about how it is handling vaccine and political misinformation.

“As we begin to bring the Metaverse to life, the need for highly skilled engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” according to the blog post of Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs, and Javier. Olivan, vice president of core products.

Facebook recruiters are targeting Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland for the hiring campaign.

The social network isn’t the only one working on the metaverse, and Facebook has acknowledged that no company will own and operate it. But some fear that Facebook and a handful of other Silicon Valley giants will end up monopolizing the metaverse and using it to collect and profit from personal data, mirroring the current situation with the internet.

Facebook announced a $ 50 million investment last month to fund global research and partnerships with civil rights groups, nonprofits, governments and academia to responsibly develop products. for the metaverse. But the company added that it would likely take 10 to 15 years to “fully realize” many of these products.

In a separate blog post on Sunday, the company defended its approach to tackling hate speech, responding to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company’s inability to detect and remove hate messages and excessively violent.

A UK parliamentary committee working on legislation to tackle online damage is expected to hear from two Facebook whistleblowers this week and next. Sophie Zhang, a data scientist who sounded the alarm after finding evidence of political manipulation online in countries like Honduras and Azerbaijan before being fired, will appear before the committee on Monday afternoon.

Next week, the committee will hear from Frances Haugen, who released an internal Facebook search that she copied before quitting her job earlier this year. Haugen testified before a US Senate panel this month about his accusations that Facebook’s platforms harm children and incite political violence, and his UK appearance will be the start of a tour to meet lawmakers and European regulators.

FILE – As of March 29, 2018, the archive photo is the Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in New York City. On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Ireland agreed to join an international agreement establishing a 15% minimum corporate tax globally, abandoning the low-tax policy that has led companies like Google and Facebook to establish their businesses. European operations in the country. (AP Photo / Richard Drew, file)

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