Meta shuts down East African office, 200 fired

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Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, is apparently closing its East African office in Nairobi, Kenya, after its third-party contractor, Sama, announced changes to its operations.

Sama’s operational adjustments will begin in March 2023, when the business’s content moderation terms of service with Facebook expire, as the company will shift from monitoring harmful content to focusing only on computer vision data annotation, also known as data labelling.

The move is expected to lay off 200 people and leave several others without work permits.

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Meta hired Sama in 2007 with the intention of labelling data and teaching its artificial intelligence, but their function was eventually altered to content moderation.

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

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