A lawsuit accusing Meta Platforms of allowing violent and hateful posts from Ethiopia on Facebook has been filed by two Ethiopian researchers and the Kenyan rights group called the Katiba Institute.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook’s recommendations systems amplified hateful posts in Ethiopia, including many more before the murder of one of the researchers’ father in 2021.
The plaintiffs are demanding Meta to take emergency steps to remove violent content, create restitution funds of about $2 bn for victims of violence incited on Facebook, and increase moderation staff in Nairobi.
Among the plaintiffs is Abrham Meareg, whose father was killed after Facebook posts were published in October 2021 referring to him using ethnic slurs.
The lawsuit said that Meta failed to exercise reasonable caution in training its algorithms to identify inappropriate posts and in hiring its staff to monitor content for the languages allowed by its regional moderation hub present in Nairobi.
According to Meta spokesperson Erin McPike, the hate speech and incitement to violence were against the rules of Facebook and Instagram.