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200 may lose jobs as Meta’s partner, Sama, shuts down East African hub



Partners to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Sama, has shut down its East African content moderation hub, a development that may cost 200 staff their jobs.

Meta had in 2017 hired Sama, a 3rd party content moderation firm in Nairobi, Kenya, to assist with labelling data and training its artificial intelligence.

Sama later started moderating some of the graphic and harmful material on Meta’s platforms, including beheadings and child abuse.

The workers were told on Tuesday morning that the company would henceforth focus solely on labelling work — also known as “computer vision data annotation” — which includes positioning animations in augmented reality filters such as bunny ears.

Read also:School sues Meta, TikTok, Google, others over ‘youth mental health crisis’

“The current economic climate requires more efficient and streamlined business operations,” Sama said in a statement encouraging employees to apply for vacancies at its offices in Kenya or Uganda.

The company revealed that its content moderation services would end in March, allowing a period of transition for Meta’s new third-party contractor.

The development comes two months after Meta cut 11,000 jobs (13 percent of its global headcount) over falling revenue.

Analysts have blamed the fall in Meta’s revenue on a drop in digital advertisement and fierce competition from rivals, including TikTok.

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