Clean up your workplace or we’ll see you in court: Facebook hit with legal threat over unlawful labour practices and union-busting in Kenya 

Last week, a former Facebook content moderator in Kenya put Mark Zuckerberg on notice: clean up your factory floor or he – and us – will see you in court. 

Foxglove, along with Kenyan law firm, Nzili and Sumbi Advocates, have supported Daniel Motaung, the whistleblower at the heart of TIME’s front-page exposé into terrible conditions and union-busting at Facebook’s content moderation office in Nairobi, Kenya, to send a letter telling the social media giant that unless they improve conditions at the facility they will face a lawsuit. 

Daniel’s letter sets out 12 demands for better treatment that Facebook, and their outsourced content moderation firm must meet to avoid court. They have 21 days to respond.  

At Foxglove, we’ve been trying to get the word out about the horrendous treatment of content moderators like Daniel since we got started

After talking about this for more than three years, we can sometimes forget that many, or even most people, don’t actually know what a Facebook content moderator is. And why would they? 

The lack of public knowledge about content moderators – and their integral role in Facebook’s business model – makes a lot of sense because, as they say: “it’s not a bug; it’s a feature”.   

Mark Zuckerberg racked up his billions at the expense of a secret army of poorly paid and mostly outsourced workers who face developing PSTD because of the horrors they experience at work.  

It’s essential for Facebook to keep this secret. It allows them to continue to put their own profits ahead of the health and wellbeing of the key workers on the front lines of the struggle to make its newsfeeds safe.  

It’s why they pay outsourcing companies to do this work for them and it’s why those companies, like Sama in Kenya who fired Daniel, force their content moderators to sign NDAs so they can’t talk about work, even with their families.  

That’s why we’ve put together an FAQ explaining what a content moderator actually is – and why we want to help them fight for better working conditions. Read it here:  

We’re proud to work with brave whistle-blowers like Daniel to fight back against Facebook’s exploitation of its workers. If you are a content moderator, or know one who would like to speak, you can contact Foxglove in confidence using the confidential messaging app Signal on: +44 7518 115 223 

And to sign our petition calling on Facebook to end its exploitation of content moderators, hit the button below: