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Friday, April 12, 2024

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    Meta fails in attempt to stop Kenyan court case

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    Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, has failed to prevent a Kenyan judge from hearing a case alleging bad working conditions at the firm.

    Meta sought dismissal of the action, claiming that Kenyan courts have no jurisdiction because Meta is not domiciled in, or trades from, Kenya, but the judge rejected the claim.

    Daniel Motaung, a former content moderator for the local outsourcing company Sama, said he was paid roughly $2.20 (£1.80) per hour to check messages containing beheadings and child abuse.

    Mr. Motaung developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the stress of his job (PTSD). He claims he was fired for attempting to organize a union in order to advocate for improved working conditions.

    “We are overjoyed with the decision. It is not just historical, but also globally significant “Amnesty International Kenya’s head, Irungu Houghton, told BBC Focus on Africa.

    “This could be the first time Meta has appeared in a court of law in the global south.”

    It will also allow “content moderators to be protected in a court of law in the countries in which they live,” he said.

    Meta is also facing a separate case in Kenya, where it is alleged that Facebook’s algorithm aided in the viral spread of hatred and bloodshed during Ethiopia’s civil war.

    Among those launching the case against Meta is Abrham Meareg, the son of an Ethiopian academic who was killed after being abused in Facebook remarks.

    They seek a $2 billion (£1.6 billion) fund for victims of hate speech on Facebook, as well as adjustments to the platform’s algorithm.

    Meta stated that it had made significant investments in moderation and technology to combat hate.

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