Meta is currently facing three cases that threaten to fundamentally change how it does business—and the fearless lawyer Mercy Mutemi is playing a vital role in all three. She represents two Ethiopians suing Facebook’s parent company for allegedly inciting racial violence in the country’s two-year civil war, which officially ended in November; one of the men says his father was killed in 2021 as a result of ethnically charged misinformation on Facebook. In two other cases, Mutemi represents Kenya-based outsourced human moderators whose job is to remove such content. Low pay, meager mental-health protections, and precarious employ-ment all contribute to Meta’s failures to protect its users’ safety, Mutemi has argued.
Though each case is still working its way through the Kenya courts, a judge recently ruled in Mutemi’s favor, declaring that Kenya did indeed have the jurisdiction to hear a case against Meta despite the multinational corporation’s not being based in the East African country. The decision meant Meta would for the first time in its history be “significantly subjected to a court of law in the Global South,” according to Amnesty International.
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