January 12, 2023

Meta’s Content Moderation Partner In Africa Shuts Down

Content moderation on social media has taken a turn for the worse. Meta has announced that their leading subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, Sama, has officially closed. 

The third-party contractor, contracted by the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, has decided to move away from policing harmful content, resulting in several employees without work permits. 

Following the announcement, 200 employees from the moderation hub in Kenya – representing approximately 3% of the team – will be let go. 

The news announced on Tuesday, comes months after Meta was sued in East Africa for union busting and exploitation.

“The current economic climate requires more efficient and streamlined business operations,” said Sama in a report by the Financial Times. 

Sama’s decision comes at a time when Meta is facing yet another lawsuit after the Ethiopians, and Kenyan rights groups accused them of not putting enough safety moderation measures on the platform. 

According to the lawsuit, the social site amplified hateful content that led to the death of 500,000 Ethiopians during the Tigray War. 

In response to the news, Meta said, “We respect Sama’s decision to exit the content review services it provides to social media platforms. We’ll work with our partners during the transition to ensure there’s no impact on our ability to review content.” 

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.