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Facebook content moderator Sue Meta in Kenya



A A group of Facebook content moderators in Kenya is suing platform parent company Meta and two outsourcing companies, the tech rights group said on Monday. A total of 43 employees of the outsourcing company Sama who moderated Facebook content are suing for what they claim was wrongful dismissal under Kenyan law.

Sama, hired by Meta to moderate Facebook content from Nairobi in 2019, reported 260 content moderators fired earlier this year, according to Foxglove, a technology-justice nonprofit that supports the lawsuit. It comes after a TIME investigation revealed low wages, injury and alleged union busting at the center, and a former employee launched a lawsuit against Meta and Sama for what he claims was unfair dismissal for organizing a union, among other things. Foxglove says Facebook is not giving up content moderation work, but rather switching to another outsourcing firm, Majorel, for what she says is “a share of the paycheck and in worse living conditions.” Majorel is currently moderating TikTok in Kenya, according to Foxglove.

Read more: Inside a Facebook African sweatshop

Foxglove said several moderators who had lost their jobs reapplied for vacancies at Majorel for what appeared to be the same job, paying less than Herself. They were unsuccessful, and Foxglove claims that Majorelle’s recruiters indicated that they were instructed not to hire moderators who had just been fired from Sama.

“The case filed today alleges that 260 moderators who were fired – and denied future employment – are being punished for this and the subsequent unionization in violation of Kenyan law,” Foxglove said in a statement Monday.

Content moderators are now filing a so-called constitutional petition in the Labor and Labor Court of Kenya against Facebook, Sama and Majorel on the grounds that retaliation against employees seeking better working conditions is unlawful discrimination.

“This is a union busting operation masquerading as mass layoffs. You can’t just switch vendors and tell recruiters not to hire your workers because they are “troublemakers,” that is, because they have the temerity to stand up for themselves,” Corey Kreider, co-CEO of Foxglove, said in a statement. .

In the lawsuit, the content moderators ask the Kenyan court to stop the dismissal process and ensure that the jobs of existing Sama workers are protected. They also demand full compensation for damages to workers, and Facebook, Sama and Majorel officially recognize the right of moderators to organize.

Sama said in a statement to TIME that it “has not yet been served by any entity on this matter,” adding that “ending the content moderation business was a difficult decision we made when Sama shifted its focus to a computer vision data annotation technology platform and decision.” Meta declined to comment, and Majorel representatives did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

Read more: Exclusive: OpenAI used Kenyan workers for less than $2 an hour to make ChatGPT less toxic

Last year, former Sama content moderator Daniel Motaung filed an initial lawsuit against Meta and Sama, alleging he was wrongfully fired for organizing a union of moderators protesting working conditions. Motaung claims that both companies are guilty of numerous violations of Kenyan law. Meta argued that the Kenyan court lacked jurisdiction because it was not based in Kenya. A the judge ruled last month that the company could still be in southern Kenya.

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Tolerable mediocrity of Baidu ChatGPT rival Ernie Botha



3. President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia this week to meet with Vladimir Putin. In recent years, economic relations between the two countries have weakened. (Wall Street Journal$)

4. A year after the China Eastern Airlines plane crash that killed 132 people, the Chinese government still can’t figure out what went wrong. (Associated Press)

5. Jiang Yanyong, the Chinese doctor who exposed the SARS outbreak cover-up in 2003, has died at the age of 91. (NPR)

6. Someone continues to cut the submarine cables connecting the Taiwanese archipelago to the Internet. Taiwan authorities blame this on accidental damage to Chinese ships. (Vice)

7. Guo Wengui, a controversial Chinese billionaire with close ties to Steve Bannon, was arrested in New York on Wednesday on $1 billion fraud charges. (NBC News)

  • The “new federal state of China” created by Guo and Bannon in 2020 has greatly exaggerated its role in helping rescue Ukrainian refugees in 2022 and used it for political propaganda. (Mother Jones)

Lost in translation

During the first two years of the pandemic, Chinese insurance companies popularized “covid insurance” – people can pay a one-time premium of a few dollars and get thousands of dollars back if they catch covid. But as journalist Yu Meng wrote in the Chinese edition of Connectinggetting this payment can be extremely difficult.

Yu bought coronavirus insurance in early 2022 and tested positive in a home antigen test in December, amid a national wave of infections after China eased its pandemic control measures. The insurance company gave her a phone number, but no one answered. Yu reports that at least 60,000 other people have filed a lawsuit with the same company. Someone called dozens of times a day, and someone to the south of the company. Some have filed complaints with China’s insurance regulator. But in the end, very few actually got paid.

At some point, when she finally managed to contact the company, a customer representative said to Yu, “Do you know how many claims we have? Do you think people taller than me haven’t calculated the costs? Of course they did. It can reach billions and lead to the bankruptcy of the company. Do you think the state will allow the bankruptcy of a state-owned company? Can you imagine that?” In the end, Yu, who expected to receive 20,000 yuan ($2,900), received 5,000 yuan. Her parents, who bought the same insurance, refused to return the money.

Something else

Now even kids can’t escape the AI ​​craze. Recently, local governments in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang announced this will enable more AI training to be included in the primary and secondary school curricula. How intense the lessons will be is not yet clear, but I wonder: will we complete the circle and see how Chinese children use Ernie Bot to do their homework on Ernie Bot?

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David Rosenberg says Fed should move up 50 basis points due to ‘speculative frenzy’



  • According to David Rosenberg, the Federal Reserve should weigh in with another significant interest rate hike due to the recent “speculative frenzy”.
  • “I’m starting to wonder if 50 basis points shouldn’t be back on the table,” the lead economist said.
  • Most traders are looking for a 25 basis point rise on Wednesday.

According to lead economist David Rosenberg, the Federal Reserve should consider a larger-than-expected rate hike on Wednesday to quell the recent spike in market speculation.

“After this recent round of speculative frenzy, I’m starting to wonder if 50 basis points shouldn’t be back on the table tomorrow,” said the president of Rosenberg Research. Twitter Tuesday.

His comments come ahead of the Fed’s latest policy announcement: the central bank is due to release its interest rate decision at 2:00 pm ET.

According to the data, nearly 90% of traders expect Chairman Jerome Powell to raise borrowing costs by 25 basis points. Fedwatch CME Group Toolwhile others predict he won’t raise rates at all to calm financial markets amid the ongoing banking crisis.

None of the investors polled by CME Group expected the 50 basis point hike that Rosenberg said the Fed should consider.

The economist didn’t specify what he meant by “speculative frenzy,” but he likely meant growth stocks, cryptocurrencies, and meme stocks earlier in the year.

Some tech stocks, which were hit hard by the Fed’s aggressive tightening campaign last year, have surged in 2023 even as the central bank pushed for further interest rate hikes.

Chip maker Nvidia is up 79% year-to-date, while Tesla is up 60% and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is up a staggering 137%.

Digital assets have also bounced back after rising rates, and the high-profile crash of FTX has lowered their value, with bitcoin up 70% and trading at just over $28,000.

Meanwhile, GameStop’s Wall Street betting favorite, which for many has become a symbol of “all bubblewhich emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, jumped 44% in premarket trading on Wednesday after a windfall for the first time in two years.

read more: Prepare for a 50% drop in the S&P 500 and a painful recession as the “everything bubble” bursts, warns elite investor Jeremy Grantham.

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Amazon to lay off 9,000 more employees




Amazon is cutting another 9,000 jobs, CEO Andy Jassi said Monday in a staff memo.

The latest cuts come after the company announced earlier this year that it would be eliminating about 18,000 job openings as part of a major cost-cutting proposal for the e-commerce giant.

Yassy said a new round of job cuts will occur in the coming weeks and will mainly affect people working in the following divisions: Amazon Web Services, People Experience and Technology (PXT), Advertising and Twitch.

“This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is best for the company in the long term,” Yassi wrote in a memo.

“Some may ask why we didn’t announce these cuts that we announced a couple of months ago,” Yassi added. “The short answer is that not all teams completed their analysis in late fall; and instead of rushing through these assessments without due diligence, we decided to share these decisions as we made them so that people get informed as soon as possible.”

The latest layoffs at Amazon come amid tech job cuts in recent months as the sector faces a pandemic-driven surge in demand for digital goods and services and broader macroeconomic uncertainty.

Amazon, like a number of other big tech companies, also quickly increased its headcount in the early days of the pandemic. Yassy wrote on Monday that the hiring “makes sense given what’s going on in our business and the broader economy.” “However, given the uncertainty of the economy we live in and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have decided to be more rational in our spending and headcount,” he added.

In a separate note to Twitch employees on Monday, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy confirmed that the Amazon-owned live streaming platform is laying off about 400 employees.

“Like many companies, our business has been impacted by the current macroeconomic environment and user and revenue growth has not been in line with our expectations,” Clancy wrote. “In order to run our business sustainably, we have made the very difficult decision to downsize our workforce.”

Just last week, parent company Facebook Meta said it was laying off another 10,000 employees on top of the 11,000 layoffs announced late last year.

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