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Facebook basically wants to pay for its own police force

Facebook basically wants to pay for its own police force
[Photo: torbakhopper/Wikimedia Commons]

While Facebook is excoriated this week over its failure to stop Cambridge Analytica from misusing the private data of millions of people, the company’s vast expansion is still going full-speed ahead. One vision Facebook has been slowly executing on is its plan to build an entire Silicon Valley-based community close to its Menlo Park, California, headquarters.

This, of course, is a controversial proposition–one that local residents are actively monitoring, writes the New York Times. The current plan is to build about 1,500 apartments–with 225 of them listed at below-market prices as a way to cater to the area’s historically poor communities. The rest will go to the hundreds of well-paid Facebook employees who likely spend hours commuting to work from the traffic-congested Bay Area. The company wants to build walkways and plazas, too, basically creating an intra-Facebook sub-city.

Beyond the living amenities, the company has also tried to fund its own police unit. Since 2014, reports the Times, Facebook has shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for a new police substation near its campus–paying both the rent for the space and an officer’s salary. It proposed to expand the unit to six people last year, meaning a private company would effectively be paying for its own public service workers, but that plan has received pushback in the community.

It’s unclear if “Facebook police” will become a reality, but the apartments seem more and more likely. You can read the full Times story here.

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