Google Fires Kenya’s Country Lead Over Mocality Data Scraping Saga
Google has reportedly fired its Country Lead in Kenya, Olga Arara-Kimani, according to Nairobi Tech. The action is said to have been taken as a measure to assure those who read the Mocality saga. Not much detail is available but Google’s VP for EMEA, Nelson Mattos, indicated on Friday on his Google+ page that action had been taken in Kenya regarding to Mocality data scraping saga.
We’ve concluded our investigation into the serious allegations about our use of data from Mocality’s website in Kenya. We’re very sorry this happened. We’ve taken appropriate action with the people involved and made changes in our operations to ensure this doesn’t occur again.
Google had to find a sacrificial lamb regarding the data scraping issue. The issue got the attention of international media and tech blogs that even Mocality which was almost getting irrelevant in the Kenyan tech scene was getting as a start-up underdog which was being bullied and exploited by the big bully in Google.
The potrayal of Mocality as an underdog is very wrong since the company is part of Naspers which also owns products like Mail.ru, Nimbuzz, Tencent and Tradus. Mocality has also been accused by rivals of scraping data to feed its directory pages. MIH Internet group which is the subsidiary of Naspers which owns Mocality, has also been accused of stealing data from other niche classifieds sites to feed pages in Dealfish.
Google has not officially released statement over the reported sacking of Olga Arara but is expected to do so in the course of the day. We have made contacts with Google Kenya and hope to get a statement soon.
Update: Nation reports that Olga has claimed to have left on her own terms.
“I confirm I have left Google Kenya. As the leader of the Kenya office, I felt that the buck stopped with me and I decided to leave,’ she wrote in a phone message to the Nation on Monday.”