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Ex-Facebook moderator Daniel Motaung calls for unity among African digital workers to address concerns around new tech


Daniel Motaung, Former Facebook Content Moderator, Whistleblower and Union Mobilizer has called on digital workers across Africa to come together and champion for digital rights especially on concerns around Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Speaking during the inaugural Mozilla Festival House: Kenya (MozFest) on Friday, Daniel said people are the key component to driving solutions about labor rights.

‘’If all digital workers unite, we have the power to twist the hand of big Tech companies to change,’’ he said.

‘’We cannot rely on cat and mouse court cases and Big Tech CEOs in closed-door “tea-party meetings” to effect change — real change, happens in regulation and for this, we need a strong, united voice globally advocating for a common cause.”

MozFest brought together diverse communities to discuss, debate and connect around some of the most pressing issues impacting the region, such as the role of technology in propagating social injustices in Africa.

In just the first day, participants began developing practical solutions to issues like digital extractivism. Attendees discussed introducing global content moderation unions advocating for fair and equitable wages, and building strong solidarity for digital labor movements.

Policymakers, technologists and activists in attendance delved into how emerging technologies like AI have furthered the marginalization of vulnerable groups across the continent and how extractive data practices continue to broaden this gap.

Speaking at the same event, J. Bob Alotta, Senior Vice President, Global Programs, Mozilla said “Right now, East Africa — and the continent more broadly — is pushing for tech sovereignty. The policymakers, technologists, and activists at MozFest Kenya are on this campaign’s frontlines, actively pursuing an internet where African perspectives and needs are the status quo.”

Chenai Chair, Senior Program Officer, Africa Innovation Mradi added that “Digital extractivism is core to how many emerging technologies are being built — but it doesn’t have to be. The community at MozFest House is challenging exploitative patterns, like Big tech companies irresponsibly outsourcing the cheaper, ‘lower-value’ aspects in the tech value chain — data annotation, content moderation — to Africans”.

MozFest House Kenya featured over 30 deep, interactive sessions on various topics such as the path towards inclusive digital identity, the digital ID movement, and the risks of digitizing discrimination through AI.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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