Facebook parent firm, Meta has unsuccessfully sought to have a case filed by a former Facebook content moderator in Nairobi dismissed.
Daniel Motaung, a South African national working in Nairobi, in October last year alleged exploitation and unfavorable working conditions.
The petitioner was further forbidden by the court from prosecuting the case “in other forums.”
Meta had requested that the lawsuit be dismissed because it cannot be heard in Kenya. It also claimed that Motaung lacked the right to file a lawsuit and that the local Employment and Labour Relations Court lacked the authority to hear it.
Although the social media company is accused of neglecting to give the Nairobi-based content moderators enough psychosocial support after exposing them to explicit content, Justice Jacob Gakeri declined to dismiss the lawsuit.
However, the judge determined that the petitioner should have furnished Meta with the court documents and ordered him to do so to allow the business to answer the allegations made against it.
Justice Gakeri stated that the petitioner should have asked the court for permission to deliver the petition because Meta is not a Kenyan-registered corporation.
The petitioner was also forbidden by the judge from discussing the case in public or on other forums.
Through lawyer Fred Ojiambo, Facebook argued that it should not have been sued by the complainant as he had been hired by a third party, Samasource Kenya EPZ, who had been contracted to provide content moderation services on Facebook.
The global social media company has said that the lawsuit was unworthy, flawed legally, and untenable.
The business claimed that Meta Platforms Inc. and Meta Platforms Ireland Limited, who are listed as respondents in the lawsuit, are foreign corporations and neither residents of nor doing business in Kenya.
In court papers, Motaung was fired after raising concerns about the working conditions of the staff members situated in the Nairobi office.
“Sama and Meta acted negligently by failing to provide adequate precautions for the safety, health, and wellbeing of the Facebook Content Moderators and exposing them to risk danger, and injury of which they were aware,” he said.
The former employee alleged that Meta and Sama did not invest adequately in programs and initiatives to safeguard the moderators’ mental health and well-being and to avoid, lessen, and remedy the harm and impacts of their employment.
He lamented the lack of hardship payments for the moderators, who were employed by outsourcing firms like Sama rather than Meta.
“Content moderation at Facebook has been found to pose a risk to workers’ mental health. Because of their repeated exposure to gruesome content such as beheadings, torture, and rape, a significant number of Facebook moderators contract post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD),” he said.
“The mental condition may involve among other problems insomnia, flashbacks, panic attacks, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty forming human relationships. A serious patient of PTSD may struggle to continue in work.”
The matter will be mentioned on March 8.