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Kenyan Facebook content moderator sues Meta over deplorable working conditions

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A Kenyan content moderator who once worked for Facebook owner, Meta Platforms Inc, on Tuesday, filed a lawsuit over the alleged poor working conditions for contracted content moderators which violates the Kenyan constitution.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Daniel Motaung who was recruited in 2019 from South Africa to work for Sama in Nairobi. Motaung said he was not given details about the nature of the work reviewing Facebook posts before his arrival and the first video he remembers moderating was a beheading.

As the disturbing content piled up causing him mental health issues. Motaung says his pay and mental health support were inadequate.

“I have been diagnosed with severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),” Motaung said. “I am living …a horror movie.”

The petition which was also filed against Meta’s local outsourcing company in the country, Sama, alleges that workers moderating Facebook posts in Kenya have been subjected to unreasonable working conditions including irregular pay, inadequate mental health support, union-busting, and violations of their privacy and dignity.

The lawsuit, among other things, is seeking financial compensation, an order that outsourced moderators have the same health care and pay scale as Meta employees, order to protect unionization rights, and an independent human rights audit of the office.

Daniel Motaung

A Meta spokesperson who reacted to the lawsuit said the company takes responsibility for the people who work for it seriously contrary to the suit.

“We take our responsibility to the people who review content for Meta seriously and require our partners to provide industry-leading pay, benefits and support.

“We also encourage content reviewers to raise issues when they become aware of them and regularly conduct independent audits to ensure our partners are meeting the high standards we expect.”

Sama, on the other hand, said it had previously rejected claims that its employees were paid unfairly, that the recruitment process was opaque, or that its mental health benefits were inadequate.

The lawsuit’s specific requests for action are more wide-ranging than those sought in previous cases and could go beyond Kenya to other African countries, according to Odanga Madung, a fellow at the Mozilla Foundation, a US-based global nonprofit dedicated to internet rights.

“This could have ripple effects. Facebook is going to have to reveal a lot about how they run their moderation operation,” Madung said.

Meta has already faced scrutiny over content moderators’ working conditions and last year, a California judge approved an $85 million settlement between Facebook and more than 10,000 content moderators who had accused the company of failing to protect them from psychological injuries resulting from their exposure to graphic and violent imagery.

Globally, thousands of Facebook moderators review social media posts that could depict violence, nudity, racism or other offensive content and many of them have reported mental torture just by going through some of the contents.

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Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, makes incursion into South Africa

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Foremost Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, has made a bold incursion into the southern African fintech market by launching its operations in South Africa.

The launching of the money transfer app which aims at helping users make all sorts of transactions at as low a cost as possible, according to its founder, Collins Kathuli, will help “users make cheap and fast money transfers, purchase airtime, and pay bills, among other things.”

Launched in February 2020, the fintech startup has processed over three million transactions since its formation, and Kathuli says Kyanda’s its goal is to build a payment ecosystem that serves both Kenya and Africa as a whole.

“We have other markets in our pipeline. This would be achieved best once we establish the market fit for our products, and of course after we’ve built firm roots in the current locations we’re present,” said Kathuli.

With over US$10 billion being moved within South Africa each year, and over 24 million South Africans sending money to each other daily, South Africa is the first stop on a broader expansion journey, according to Disrupt Africa.

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Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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