kenyan judge temporarily blocks mass layoff of facebook moderators
According to court documents, a Kenyan judge temporarily halted the mass layoff of 260 Facebook content moderators who were employed by an outsourcing firm hired by the parent company of the social media site, Meta.
Until a decision on the validity of the content moderators’ redundancy was made, Judge Matthews Nduma issued an interim injunction against Meta and the Kenyan outsourcing company Sama, preventing them from terminating the content moderators’ contracts at the end of March.
Who raised the issue of the layoff of Facebook moderators, in the Kenyan Court?
43 moderators at Facebook’s Nairobi moderation hub filed a lawsuit last week alleging wrongful termination against the social media platform and Sama.
The 43 applicants claim they were fired from Sama as a result of starting a union. Additionally, they claim that after Facebook switched contractors, their names were removed from consideration for the same positions at Majorel, a Luxembourg-based outsourcing company.
Sama claimed in an email statement that “this judgment was issued without Sama being able to participate or correct any of the facts.” We had no plans to fire anyone before the end of March, and we will certainly follow any instructions the court issues.
Requests for comments regarding the temporary injunction from Meta and Majorel were not immediately met with a response.
“This is a mass layoff that is a union-busting operation. Because your employees are “troublemakers,” or dare to speak up for themselves, you cannot simply switch suppliers and instruct hiring managers not to hire them “said Cori Crider of Foxglove, a technology rights organization that is backing the most recent legal action.
Additionally, Nduma temporarily prohibited Meta from assigning workers to the position of moderators of Facebook content for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Meta appealed a decision last month that said the alleged unfair working conditions could be prosecuted in a separate lawsuit brought by a moderator. Point to be noted that META has no official presence in the East African nation.
Court cases can be affected. Is it the same for Kenyan Courts?
Court cases may affect how Meta cooperates with content moderators around the world.
The American company collaborates with thousands of moderators. And they are responsible for screening graphic content before it is posted on its platform Meta.