Facebook outsourcer Sama agrees to increase pay for content moderators in Kenya

That was quick. 

It’s been a fortnight since TIME published its exposé on Facebook’s main content moderation outsourcing company for sub-Saharan Africa, Sama. It revealed content moderators in Nairobi, Kenya are some of the worst-paid Facebook workers anywhere in the world and toil in working conditions that give them PTSD. 

Suddenly, Sama has agreed to bump up content moderators’ pay at the Nairobi office by 30-50%, as reported again in TIME.

That’s a win for Daniel Motaung, the brave whistleblower and former content moderator who was fired by Sama for standing up against exploitation and organising his co-workers into a fledgling union named The Alliance.

However, despite this concession, the worst-paid content moderators in Nairobi will see an increase to their hourly wage of around just 70 cents, from $1.50 to $2.20. That remains one of the lowest wages for Facebook workers anywhere in the world.

The Alliance had asked for their pay to be doubled – and for better conditions all round.

And Sama has yet to address why it fired Daniel for organising with his colleagues to demand a raise, or its potentially unlawful union-busting activity against The Alliance.

So there is a long way to go – and a lot of battles yet to fight. But this shows, once again, that even big tech companies can be pressed to move when staff demand it and the public stand with them. 

In Daniel’s words: “Speaking up against ruthless corporate power can bring about your salvation. Organising works! Keep pushing and you’ll get what you deserve.”

He’s right.

And Facebook knows full well their business runs on exploitation. One employee posted the TIME story on an internal forum, writing: “Can we stop doing this sort of crap?” 

If you’d like them to stop doing it too, hit the button below to sign our open letter, telling Mark Zuckerberg to stop exploiting Facebook content moderators.

You can read the original reporting in TIME here and the follow up piece about the pay rise here.