Meta has been accused of inciting violence and hate on Facebook during the Ethiopian civil war.
Two researchers from the country and Kenyan human rights group the Katiba Institute brought the case to court on Tuesday, December 13.
The suit claims Facebook’s content moderation failure fueled violent posts in Ethiopia.
One of the plaintiffs, Abrham Meareg, alleges his father was murdered after a spate of hateful posts targeted him for assault.
The tech giant is accused of not taking appropriate care in training its algorithms to flag potentially dangerous posts.
The lawsuit also claims Meta failed to recruit staff to regulate content for the languages covered by its regional moderation hub in Nairobi.
Meta spokesperson Erin McPike said that hate speech and incitement to violence were against Facebook and Instagram policies.
She said: “We invest heavily in teams and technology to help us find and remove this content.
“We employ staff with local knowledge and expertise and continue to develop our capabilities to catch violating content in the most widely spoken languages in Ethiopia.”
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The oversight board suggested a report on how Facebook and Instagram promote content that increases the risk of violence in Ethiopia last year.
The petitioners want Meta to pay $2 billion in restitution to all victims of the violence inflamed by Facebook.
They also want the court to order Meta to take emergency measures to demote violent posts and expand moderation staff in Nairobi.