A former content moderator filed a lawsuit on Tuesday over alleged poor working conditions for contracted content moderators in Kenya.
According to Business Daily, the petition, also filed against Meta’s local outsourcing company Sama, alleges that workers moderating Facebook posts in Kenya have been subjected to unreasonable working conditions including irregular pay, inadequate mental health support, union-busting, and violations of their privacy and dignity.
The lawsuit was filed by one person on behalf of a group, seeking financial compensation as per the order that outsourced moderators have the same health care and pay scale as Meta employees. The order also included that the moderators’ unionisation rights should be protected.
“We take our responsibility to the people who review content for Meta seriously and require our partners to provide industry-leading pay, benefits and support. We also encourage content reviewers to raise issues when they become aware of them and regularly conduct independent audits to ensure our partners are meeting the high standards we expect,” a Meta spokesperson said.
Sama has, according to Business Daily, denied claims that any of its employees were paid unfairly or that the mental health benefits were simply not adequate.
“This could have ripple effects. Facebook is going to have to reveal a lot about how they run their moderation operation,” said Mozilla Foundation’s Odanga Madung.
Thousands of moderators from across the world review social media posts to ensure that they adhere to the community standards — may remove content that depicts violence, nudity, racism, or other offensive content. This, however, doesn’t mean that they are working for the tech companies themselves — they might be employed through a contractor.
By Zintle Nkohla
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