Facebook content moderators in Kenya will receive a 30-50% pay rise. This announcement comes two weeks after an investigation report by TIME revealed that content moderators in Nairobi were subject to poor pay and working conditions by Sama, a company responsible for Facebook’s sub-Saharan Africa content moderation since 2019. 

Every content moderator will receive an extra 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($176) per month, Sama told employees in a meeting on Tuesday, sources revealed to TIME

“The raise means that the lowest-paid Facebook content moderators at Sama will now take home around 50,000 Kenyan shillings ($439) each month after-tax, or around $2.20 per hour for a 9-hour working day. This is up from around $1.50 per hour previously.”

All content moderators were also promised yearly bonuses worth one month of their salary, as an incentive to remain at the company, according to the sources.

Despite the obvious correlation, Habel Kamau, a human resources director at Sama’s Nairobi office, said that the salary increase wasn’t a result of the release of the investigation by TIME. He claimed that the conversations about a salary increase had been ongoing for a while now, adding that the pay raise was made possible due to budget cuts from other places and not as a result of Sama receiving additional money from Facebook.

Although the pay raise is welcomed by many of the content moderators, some still say it’s not enough. Sama employees remain some of Facebook’s lowest-paid workers anywhere in the world. While the lowest starting salary of a Facebook content moderator at Sama is $2.20 per hour, outsourced content moderators for Facebook in the U.S. are paid a typical starting salary of $18 per hour.

South African Daniel Motaung, a former employee of Sama who was fired after trying to lead a union, noted that in 2019 employees had requested for their pay to be doubled. “This increase will make a difference but it won’t change their lives,” Motaung said in the statement. “They still won’t be able to buy a house or feed their families in line with the ‘lifting the poor out of poverty’ narrative that Sama continuously boasts about.”

Sama didn’t comment on allegations that its managers suppressed a unionization effort in 2019, which led to Motaung losing his Job. Meta, Facebook’s parent company also declined to comment on the announcement of the pay raise.

The announcement of the pay raise is seen as a win for the content moderators and validation of the power in employees speaking up. 

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