After a former employee filed a lawsuit against the social media giant, citing poor working conditions, a Kenyan labour court ruled on Monday that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued.
Meta attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that courts in the East African country lack 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?
In Kenya, a former Facebook moderator accused the company of taking advantage of poor working conditions.
Daniel Motaung stated that he was exposed to rape, torture, and beheadings. He claimed that this jeopardised his and his colleagues’ mental health.
He stated that Meta did not provide such assistance to employees. Furthermore, employees were allegedly required to work unreasonably long shifts for little pay. Motaung worked for Samasource Ltd, which runs Facebook’s African hub in Nairobi.
Following Judge Gakeri’s decision on Monday, the court will consider the next step in the process on March 8.
Meta Also Faces Ethiopia Lawsuit
Meta is also facing legal action from two Ethiopians who claim hate speech was promoted on Facebook during the country’s Tigray conflict.
The suit was filed in Kenya in December by two Ethiopian researchers and the Katiba Institute, a Kenyan rights organisation. The plaintiffs accuse Meta of not only failing to moderate violent posts about the conflict, but also of amplifying the most virulent ones, according to court documents.
According to their filing, one of these posts preceded the murder of a plaintiff’s father.
In that case, it is also claimed that Meta responds to crises in Africa more slowly than in the rest of the world.