Facebook’s content moderation partner in Africa Sama quits
16-01-2023 07:52:00 | by: Nixon Kanali | hits: 4151 | Tags:

Sama, Facebook’s content moderation partner in Africa has announced that it’s exiting content review services to focus on data annotation, a market it has equally dominated.

Following this shift, Sama will release about 3% of its workforce, most of them from its moderation hub in Nairobi. The company has encouraged its staff to apply for other job opportunities in its Kenya and Uganda offices while stating that affected staff will be accorded severance packages and well-being support for 12 months after their last day of employment.

Sama is cutting ties with Facebook at a time when both companies are battling a legal case filed by a former employee who cited poor working conditions at the Nairobi hub. 

Daniel Motaung, a South African national and ex-Sama content moderator, in Kenya last year accused the two firms of forced labor, human trafficking, unfair labor relations, union busting, and failure to provide adequate mental health and psychosocial support.  The petition called upon Kenya’s courts to order Facebook and its outsourcing companies to ''end exploitation in its Nairobi moderation hub, where content moderators work in dangerous conditions,”.

Motaung was laid off from the company in 2019 for allegedly attempting to unionize workers and demanding better working conditions.

A spokesperson from Meta has confirmed the end of the contract with Sama in a statement. “We respect Sama’s decision to exit the content review services it provides to social media platforms. We’ll work with our partners during this transition to ensure there’s no impact on our ability to review content,” the post reads in part.
The social media company has now contracted Luxembourg-based, Majorel to replace Sama. Majorel previously worked as TikTok's content moderator in the Middle East and North Africa.