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Facebook Says It Will Double Safety and Security Staff to 20,000

Facebook Inc. said it will double its safety and security staff to 20,000, including contract workers, by the end of 2018.

The company made the commitment in testimony before U.S. senators, who were questioning the social-media giant -- along with Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google -- about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of online platforms. Colin Stretch, the top Facebook lawyer, explained that the new hires would help track behavior of extremists on its sites. The company had just over 20,000 total employees at the end of June.

“We need to understand the behavior and we need to have the capacity both as a company and as an industry to be able to track it and eradicate it,” Stretch said.