A labor court in Kenya ruled on Monday that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued after a former employee filed a lawsuit against the social media giant, citing poor working conditions.
Meta tried to have the case thrown out, arguing that courts in the East African country do not have jurisdiction over Facebook’s operations.
However, Judge Jacob Gakeri said:
Since the petition has raised certain actual issues that are yet to be determined, it would be inopportune for the country to strike out the two respondents from the matter.
Why Did The Employee Go Against Facebook?
A former Facebook moderator in Kenya accused the company of exploiting poor working conditions.
Daniel Motaung said that he was exposed to content such as rape, torture, and beheadings. He said this put his and his colleagues’ mental health at risk.
He said Meta did not offer any support to employees regarding such issues. In addition, staff were allegedly required to work unreasonably long shifts, and offered minimal pay. Motaung was employed in Facebook’s African hub in Nairobi, which is operated by Samasource Ltd.
Following Monday’s ruling from Judge Gakeri, the next step in the process will be considered by the court on March 8.
Meta Also Faces Ethiopia Lawsuit
Meta is also facing legal action in which two Ethiopians say hate speech was promoted on Facebook in the midst of the country’s Tigray conflict.
The suit was filed in Kenya in December by two Ethiopian researchers and a Kenyan rights group, the Katiba Institute. According to court documents, the plaintiffs accuse Meta of not only failing to moderate violent posts about the conflict but also blaming the social media giant for amplifying the most virulent ones.
One of these posts preceded the murder of a plaintiff’s father, their filing said.
That case also alleges Meta responds more slowly to crises in Africa than elsewhere in the world.