Meta and SamaIts main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, is facing a lawsuit in Kenya over alleged unsafe and unfair working conditions if they don’t meet 12 requirements. requirements about workplace conditions put before them.
Nzili and Sumbi Advocates, the law firm representing Daniel Motaung, a former Sama employee who was fired for organizing a strike in 2019 over poor pay and working conditions, in a letter of request. seen by TechCrunch, alleges the subcontractor violated various rights, including the health and privacy of Kenyan and international employees.
Motaung is said to have been fired for organizing the strike and trying to unite Sama employees. The law firm has given Meta and Sama 21 days starting Tuesday, March 29) to respond to requests or face a lawsuit.
In the letter of request, the law firm requested that Meta and Sama comply with the country’s labor, privacy and health laws, employ qualified and experienced medical professionals, and provide Full mental health insurance coverage and better compensation.
“Facebook subcontracts much of this work to companies like Sama – an operation that helps keep Facebook margins high but at the expense of the health of thousands of moderators – and the safety of Facebook. all around the world. Sama’s moderators report ongoing violations, including unsafe, degrading conditions and a risk of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD),” Motuang’s attorney said. know.
The lawsuit is coming after a Time story details how Sama recruits moderators under the pretense that they are taking call center jobs. The story goes, the content moderators, hired from across the continent, were only able to learn about the nature of their work after signing an employment contract and moving to its hub in Nairobi.
Moderators screen social media posts across all of its platforms, including Facebook, to remove persistent and persistent hate, disinformation, and violence.
Among the many requirements that employees must comply with is not to disclose the nature of their work to outsiders. The article states that content moderators in Africa earn the lowest salaries globally. Sama positions itself as an ethical AI company. The company recently raised wages for employees after the fair.
The law firm alleges that Sama failed to provide Motaung and his co-workers with adequate psychosocial and mental health support measures, including “unplanned respite, especially after being exposed to graphic content”. Sama employee productivity is also tracked using Meta’s software – to measure device time and employee movement during work hours. Sama gave them “thirty minutes a day with a health care advisor.”
“Sama and Meta failed to prepare our client for the type of work he had to do and its impact. The first video he remembers censoring is about a beheading. Up to that point no psychological support had been offered to him in advance,” the law firm said.
Mercy Mutemi, the head of legal action said, “I use Facebook, like many Kenyans, and it’s an important place to discuss the news. But that’s why this case is so important.”
“The safety and integrity of our democratic process in Kenya depends on a properly staffed Facebook and where content moderators, anti-hate fronts, hate and misinformation, get the support we need to protect us all. This is no ordinary labor case – Facebook moderators’ working conditions affect all Kenyans.”