Local Courts In Kenya Have Jurisdiction Over Facebook, Labour Court Rules

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The labour and employment relations Court in Kenya has okayed an employment rights suit to go on against Meta, the Parent company of social media giant Facebook, in a ruling hailed as historic in the fight for accountability of BigTech in Africa.

Daniel Moutang, a former content moderator at Facebook in Kenya sued the social media company alleging it failed to put in place necessary measures to protect him from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) despite exposing him to offensive graphic content in the course of his work, among other breaches of working standards.

Trying to fob off the Suit, Facebook had argued the case could not be brought against it since it doesn’t maintain a physical presence in the East African country and that instead a Sub-contractor who hired Mr. Daniel Moutang on behalf of the company was liable.


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However, a Judge ruled the suit was properly placed against Facebook and that it could proceed, suggesting local Courts have Jurisdiction against the company and other ubiquitous digital peers.

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Facebook has come under sharp criticism from activists and governments over its content moderation policies and practices which they say have fanned violence, hate speech and political manipulations.

There is another suit on going in Kenya, the Guardian Newspaper reported, that relates to the social media giant’s content moderation policies in relation to the war in northern Ethiopia.

In that Suit, one of the Petitioners’ father was killed in the war allegedly after a violent Facebook post was reported but not acted upon in time.

Meta employs thousands of people to review social media posts for offensive content.

The company has already made an $85 million settlement with over 1000 content moderators in California whose accusations are in all material respects similar to Daniel Moutang’s.

The case will reportedly be mentioned on March 8th 2023.

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