TIME’s revelations on Facebook content moderation made possible by whistleblower support

For release Monday, 14 Feb 2022 – Content moderators for Facebook (now known as Meta), hired by San Francisco-based outsourcing company Sama in Nairobi, Kenya, have routinely endured poor labor conditions, according to allegations reported today by TIME. The Signals Network (TSN) provided legal and psychological support to whistleblowers who shared public interest information for this story through its Whistleblower Protection Program.

“Workers in this Nairobi office are among the lowest-paid workers for the platform anywhere in the world, with some of them taking home as little as $1.50 per hour,” writes the TIME reporter Billy Perrigo, adding “Testimonies of Sama employees reveal a workplace culture characterized by mental trauma, intimidation, and alleged suppression of the right to unionize.” Additionally, “Through its prioritization of speed and efficiency above all else, this policy might explain why videos containing hate speech and incitement to violence have remained on Facebook’s platform in Ethiopia.”

Once again, holding Big Tech to account falls to brave individuals who share revelations of wrongdoing with the press. Whistleblowers’ revelations are forcing real change to better protect workers, whistleblowers, and the public worldwide.

The Signals Network is proud to have made possible the revelations in TIME. We are committed to support the bravery of individuals who share major public interest information with the press and to make sure these revelations don’t stop there. Real change is needed to protect individuals, all Facebook content moderators, and the public at large.” – Delphine Halgand-Mishra, Executive Director at The Signals Network

Through its Tech Accountability Project, TSN is working with worker organizations and activists to ensure tech workers are aware of their rights when they see wrongdoing. TSN also works with a large coalition of civil society organizations, including Foxglove, People vs Big Tech, and Amnesty International to push for change as a result of whistleblower revelations.

“We are have been working with Facebook moderators around the world for years. They have had it with being exploited, the strain of toxic content, and suppression of their right to unionize. Abuse of content moderators is the rotten core of Facebook, so we’re taking action to force Facebook and grubby outsourcers like Sama to clean up their factory floor.” – Cori Crider, Foxglove Director

The Signals Network is an American-French non-profit organization that supports whistleblowers who have shared public interest information with the press in 12 countries. Since its founding in 2017, it has helped coordinate international media investigations that speak out against corporate misconduct and human rights abuses, empowered thousands of tech workers about whether to speak out on issues that are in the public interest and advocate for greater overall tech accountability.

Press contact: Sarah Gamard, sarah@thesignalsnetwork.org

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Published On: February 14, 2022By Tags: ,