Thursday, March 23, 2023

Facebook sues over working conditions for moderators in Kenya

KAMPALA, Uganda ( Associated Press) — A man who says he is “destroyed” after working as a content moderator for Facebook has accused the company of human trafficking Africans at an exploitative and unsafe facility in Kenya. A suit has been filed alleging

A case was filed Tuesday in a court in Nairobi, Kenya, against Meta Platforms, the Menlo Park, California company that owns Facebook, and San Francisco subcontractor Sama.

Daniel Motang’s petition “calls on the courts of Kenya to order Facebook and its outsourcing companies to end exploitation in their Nairobi moderation hub, where content moderators work in dangerous conditions,” said a London-based legal non-profit organization A statement from Foxglove said that Facebook supports the content moderators. ,

The first video a Facebook moderator saw was a video of Motang beheading someone, he told reporters during a call on Tuesday. After relocating from South Africa to Nairobi in 2019 for work, he remained on the job for about six months. Motoung says he was sacked after trying to lead the effort to unionize at the facility.

Motoung said his job was painful and he now fears death.

“I had potential,” said Motang. “When I went to Kenya, I went to Kenya because I wanted to change my life. I wanted to change the life of my family. I turned out to be a different person, a person who has been destroyed.”

Motang, in his filing, said that once he arrived in Kenya for that job, he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that his salary was less than promised, a monthly paycheck that amounted to 40,000 Kenyan shillings. Or was about 350 US dollars.

The lawsuit notes that Sama targets people from poor families in Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and other countries in the region with “misleading job ads” that fail to disclose that they are Facebook content moderators. Will act as or watch disturbing material that exposes them to mental health problems.

Mercy Mutemi, who filed the petition in court on Tuesday morning, said the applicants are recruited “deceitfully”. “We found that many Africans were forced into forced labor conditions and human trafficking. When you leave your country for a job that you did not apply for, it amounts to human trafficking. ”

The filing alleges that material moderators are not given sufficient medical coverage to seek mental health treatment.

The lawsuit also seeks an order for Facebook and Sama to respect the right of arbitrators to form associations.

According to a statement issued by a company spokesperson, Meta’s office in Nairobi said it takes its responsibility seriously to those who review content for the company and is entitled to “industry-leading pay, benefits and benefits”. Partners are required to provide support.

“We encourage content reviewers to raise issues when they become aware of them and conduct regular independent audits to ensure our partners are meeting high standards,” the statement said. Huh.”

In 2020, Facebook agreed to pay $52 million to US content moderators who have committed a crime after being exposed to repeated beheading, child and sexual abuse, animal cruelty, terrorism and other disturbing content. Filed a class action lawsuit.,

Sama, which describes itself as an ethical AI company, did not immediately provide comment.

According to the filing, Sama’s Nairobi location is the largest content moderation facility in Africa, employing around 240 employees.

“We are not animals,” Motaung said in the statement. “We are people – and we deserve this kind of treatment.”


Seitz reported from Washington.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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