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Meta and Moderators Seek Mediation for Labor Dispute in Compact Terms

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Content moderators who were suing Meta and its former content review partner in Africa, Sama, for alleged unlawful dismissal have agreed to settle the case out of court. The 184 moderators have decided to pursue mediation, marking a significant development in one of the most high-profile cases faced by Meta in the continent. Both parties have chosen co-mediators and have 21 days to reach an amicable agreement. If no agreement is reached, the matter will then proceed before the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

The moderators filed the lawsuit against Meta and Sama, claiming that they were unlawfully dismissed without receiving redundancy notices or a 30-day termination notice as required by Kenyan law. They also alleged that their terminal dues were tied to signing non-disclosure agreements and accused Meta’s new content moderation partner, Majorel, of blacklisting all of Sama’s previous employees. The moderators sought compensation for distress caused, the reversal of the redundancy notice, and acknowledgment of their right to unionize. Sama argued that it adhered to labor laws in Kenya.

Sama had hired moderators from several African countries to filter social media content on Meta’s platforms, a job that they claimed negatively impacted their mental health and overall well-being. The lawsuit is one of multiple legal challenges Meta has faced, including being sued by Ethiopians in Kenya for allegedly fueling conflicts that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 people during the Tigray War.

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