Yuan has been reduced The ties to subcontractors supplying regulators for its African market come just weeks before the tech giant is due to face human trafficking and union-busting charges in a Kenyan court.
The company has terminated its contract with outsourcing firm Sama, which former employee Daniel Motaung accused last year of imposing “unreasonable working conditions”, including irregular wage payments, inadequate mental health support and violating workers’ privacy.
But things seem to be just as bad, if not worse, for companies poised to take on Meta contracts. Meta has not yet confirmed which company will accept the new contract, but Financial Times It was reported on January 10 that this could be Majorel, a Luxembourg-based outsourcing firm that has signed a content moderation contract with Meta in Morocco and has offices around the world.
“The job is miserable, and all we get is peanuts,” a Majorel employee in Nairobi, a content moderator for TikTok, told Wired. They described spending hours viewing graphic content of beheadings, dismemberments and suicides for less than 35,000 Kenyan shillings, or about $281, a month. “We can’t even maintain a normal life.”
The employee’s account of Majorel’s conditions was corroborated by messages from other moderators who work at the company and in private social media groups, seen by Wired.
Both TikTok and Meta moderators who worked with Majorel described viewing hundreds of potentially traumatic images a day with little support from counselors. TikTok moderators in Nairobi said that while performance-based bonuses were possible, they were difficult to obtain, and those who complained about working conditions felt denied promotions and received poor reviews. UNON moderators also complained about not receiving monthly payslips to confirm their pay, but being routed to an online portal last updated in October.
Neither Meta nor Majorel responded to requests for comment.
Majorel employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation, told Wired that Meta executives visited Majorel’s offices in Nairobi in mid-January and said employees were told the company would be signing contracts with Meta.
A job advertisement on the African recruitment platform Fuzu.com shows that Majorel is currently recruiting speakers of Kirundi, Tigrinya, Oromo, Luganda, Kinyarwanda, Setswana, South African Content Manager for Dutch, Zulu, Amharic, and Somali. Sama provides Meta’s moderation in most of these languages.
While Sama, a certified social enterprise, has been heavily criticized for working conditions, the company pays moderators more than Fees offered by Majorel to new hires. Sama moderators earn around KES 60,000 (US$483) a month, which still makes them one of the lowest paid workers in the Meta moderator network.
A 2019 report from The Verge found that content moderators in the US make $15 an hour. By comparison, Sama employees make between $1.46 and $2.20 an hour. Previous reports found that moderators in India earn nearly $2 an hour.
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