Meta, la maison mère de Facebook, accusée d’« esclavage moderne » au Kenya

Meta, la maison mère de Facebook, accusée d’« esclavage moderne » au Kenya

A former content moderator for Facebook in Kenya filed a complaint on Tuesday, May 10, against Meta, the parent company of the social network, which he accuses of exploitation. The complaint describes working conditions “unworthy”deceptive methods of hiring, irregular and insufficient remuneration, lack of psychological support, performance pressure and invasions of privacy and dignity, in violation of the Kenyan Constitution.

It was filed by Daniel Motaung, a South African who worked for Sama, a Meta contractor responsible for moderating content on Facebook for countries in East and Southern Africa – an activity essential to remove problematic content (violence, harassment, misinformation, etc.) from the platform.

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“The first video I saw was a live decapitation”said Mr. Motaung on Tuesday at a press conference organized by the Real Facebook Oversight Board, an anti-Facebook association. “Imagine what it can do to a normal person if you then watch other similar videos, images and content every day”continued the young man, who says he suffers from post-traumatic syndrome.

“We take our responsibility to the people who review content for Meta seriously and require our partners to provide industry-leading salaries, benefits and support.reacted a spokesperson for Meta, contacted by AFP. We encourage moderators to speak up about issues when they arise, and we regularly conduct independent audits to ensure that our partners maintain high standards, in line with our expectations. »

“Take what you’re given and shut up”

According to Daniel Motaung and his lawyers, who say they represent 240 Sama content moderators in the Nairobi office, the contractor recruits employees without telling them specifically what their job will be, citing ” administrative tasks “. The complaint assures that Sama chooses the candidates according to their modest origins, under the pretext of lifting them out of poverty, and come from different countries so that they understand the different languages ​​spoken on the continent and therefore on Facebook.

Meta and Sama “recruit moderators through fraudulent and deceptive methods, an abuse of power, exploiting the vulnerability of young, poor and desperate candidates”the lawyers say in the court document: “Many were hired and brought to Kenya before they understood the nature of their work […] They were therefore victims of human trafficking according to a modern form of slavery prohibited by article 30 of the Constitution. »

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“They told us that they could easily replace us. They said to us: “We are doing you a favor […] take what you’re given and shut up.”, said Daniel Motaung. The complaint also details poor working conditions, not adapted to the difficulty and arduousness of the tasks, and the non-respect of the rights of employees, such as that of unionizing. The lawyers specify that Sama hires “wellness coaches” whose training is not sufficient for the mental health needs of moderators and who do not offer a “confidential relationship” to employees.

Two years ago, Facebook was ordered to pay thousands of content moderators in the United States $52 million as compensation for job-related trauma.

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The World with AFP

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