Court of Appeal Subsists Lawsuit From Facebook Content Moderators

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Courtersy, Vox

The Court of Appeal has officially called for the proceeding of the lawsuit against Facebook that was filed by more than 180 Facebook content moderators. This follows the pending petition raised by Meta, challenging Kenyan courts from handling the lawsuit.

Meta argued that by proceeding with the lawsuit, the Employment and Labour Relations court would have wrongly assumed jurisdiction over a foreign company.

The content moderators filed the lawsuit against Facebook in March after they were hit with redundancy notices from Sama (Facebook’s former patner). They added that Facebook and Sama’s over working conditions could lead to implications for social media moderators around the world.

A panel consisting of 3 judges of the appellate court claimed they were not convinced that Meta had demonstrated any basis to merit the order of stay of the proceedings.

To quote Justices Daniel Musinga, Kathurima M’Inoti and John Mativo;

“More importantly, the main petition is still pending hearing before the trial court. There is nothing to show that in the absence of a stay, the applicant’s ability to defend the said petition will be hindered,”

Furthermore, the panel also declined to stop another case filed against Meta Platforms, Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd and Samasource Kenya EPZ by South African content moderator Daniel Motaung.

The lawsuit is the first known court challenge outside the United States, where Facebook has settled with moderators.

Sama, formerly known as Samasource, is a training-data company, focusing on annotating data for artificial intelligence algorithms. Sama was a former partner of Facebook that dealt with content moderation in Facebook Africa.