Facebook loses the argument (again) as judge rules they must face Kenyan justice
For the second time in as many months, a Kenyan judge has rejected Facebook’s argument that Meta does not operate in Kenya and so does not have to answer to Kenyan justice.
Not only that, but the 184 content moderators fighting the recent mass redundancy have successfully maintained a court order blocking the layoffs!
Facebook has been trying to argue it doesn’t have to answer to Kenyan justice – just like they did in the case of Daniel Motaung. But the judge, Justice Nduma, wasn’t having any of it, saying Facebook: “have rightly been placed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court.”
The judge added the full trial must go ahead as a priority and the interim order protecting the moderators’ livelihoods must remain in place. That means that – for now – the moderators continue to get paid and avoid destitution.
One moderator bringing the case, Trevin Brownie spoke to the BBC, listen below:
Another of the 184 moderators, Juanita Jones said:
“I do this work because I believe in protecting people. It is so important that moderators stand between ordinary people and the poison that travels over the Internet. But this is a workplace that desperately needs reform.
“Moderation is the frontline defence of the internet – and it is time to value the work like it, not treat it as some disposable, dead-end job. I am proud of my work as a moderator and I couldn’t be more proud of all my colleagues who have stood up to Facebook today.”
This major victory comes as the number of content moderators taking a stand on behalf of their colleagues quadrupled from 43 to 184 in just 21 days.
During one hearing, a moderator who wasn’t yet part of the case stood up in the packed courtroom and asked the judge directly if she could join the case. He advised her to speak to our amazing Kenyan counsel Mercy Mutemi.
Here are a few photos from the hearings:
This is such an important milestone in the fight against Facebook’s exploitative outsourcing model.
No company should be above the law. Today, we’re one step closer to forcing them to answer to Kenyan justice.
Foxglove is incredibly proud to be supporting this important case and our supporters have been a huge help. Your signatures to the petition against the sacking – and your donations to the legal fund – have played a fundamental role.
There’s a lot more to do, but today we can all celebrate making some progress.
If you haven’t yet done so, sign the petition in solidarity with all 260 content moderators facing Facebook’s mass redundancy here: