Our global teams at the Facebook company are constantly iterating, solving problems, and working together to empower people around the world to build community and connect in meaningful ways. Critical to our mission of building stronger communities is the Community Integrity team. With a relentless focus on providing safe and inclusive communities across Facebook apps and services, the team builds support experiences, artificial intelligence (AI) detection systems to detect malicious content, and human review systems for the thousands of community operations agents worldwide.
Community Integrity at Facebook encompasses a number of teams and roles responsible for preventing harm and resolving negative experiences on our platform, including engineering, data science, product design, and more. While the London office has the largest Community Integrity engineering team at Facebook, the cross-functional nature of the work touches multiple Facebook offices around the world.
Read on to get an inside look at the innovative work our Community Integrity team in London is focused on.
Real-world problems with high-impact solutions
The problems the Community Integrity team are tackling are varied and ever-changing. The team is responsible for identifying, preventing, and mitigating abuse, including keeping harmful behaviors and content off Facebook apps and services. By utilizing technologies like machine learning (ML) and AI, they’re able to minimize negative experiences for people and make our communities safer and more inclusive.
Pratap P., a Director of Engineering, spent his first nine-and-half years at Facebook working in the Menlo Park office. “My prior role was to help content creators on Facebook make a livelihood from content they produce. There was a focus on integrity and the work intrigued me.” Driven by his desire to play a stronger role in protecting people on Facebook, Pratap recently relocated to London.
“Across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, most people have really positive experiences. But occasionally, people don’t. They might have their account compromised, or experience harassment, or be exposed to inappropriate content. We’re trying to reduce those experiences and prevent other people from having them in the future. There’s a wide range of interesting problems to tackle,” Pratap says.
When asked about a recent project he’s proud of, Pratap describes how his team addressed issues of impersonating accounts on Facebook. “We want to make sure you’re confident the person you’re connecting with on Facebook is really who they say they are. There are people who create impersonating accounts, which creates confusion when searching for the real person. We used machine learning to determine who is a real person and who is not, and remove some of the impersonating accounts. We’ve also worked on ID verification for influencers and celebrities to help mitigate impersonation.”
A diverse and thriving culture built for impact
Facebook’s London presence was established over 10 years ago. It is Facebook’s largest engineering hub outside of North America. When Pratap relocated there from Menlo Park, he found immense support to help ease his transition. He says, “I felt very confident about work, but with two kids, I was worried about finding them a good school, finding a home and building community in a new country. Facebook’s relocation package is so comprehensive and helped us find a great school for our children, a new house, and even handled shipping everything for us from California to London.”
In London, Pratap has discovered a thriving work culture where everyone can make an impact. “Facebook’s London office has a structure of autonomy, accountability and local decision making, which is especially important to the work Community Integrity is doing,” he says. “We have teams built around end-to-end ownership of reducing each integrity problem. We also look at the commonalities across problems and build reusable platforms to resolve them better in the future. This requires a diverse skill set across our team.”
Some of the Facebook London Community Integrity team (2018).
Pratap continues, “What’s incredible about working in Community Integrity is we’re able to build a system or a product and immediately see the positive impact to someone’s real life.
“You can write code and it would benefit billions of people immediately. At the same time, we work in a dynamically evolving environment.”
Something you deploy may be effective now but become ineffective later, so you must be open to change and flexible.”
With over 95 different nationalities represented, Facebook London is a diverse office. Additionally, the smaller size of teams create an environment that feels more like a high-growth startup. “Our office in London has a close-knit feel. It’s really easy to go talk to the team I need to go talk to. I’m enjoying being in a new culture,” Pratap adds.
When asked what has kept him at Facebook for over 10 years, Pratap explains, “It comes down to the people I work with and Facebook’s culture. It's very hard to find an intersection of smart and humble people. What enables that is our culture. We place a significant amount of emphasis on behavior. How do you interact with your teammates? At the end of the day, I want to go home with a smile on my face and our culture enables that.”
Learn more about some of the challenges the Community Integrity team is tackling here: