TikTok, Kenyan Gov’t to Collaborate on Platform’s Content Monitoring

TikTok is set to establish a physical location in Kenya, a move that will proactively address offensive content for users within the country. This was made known by President William Ruto following a virtual meeting with TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew.

Over the past months, the spotlight has been turned toward the short-form video platform due to moral concerns surrounding its content. This was after a petition was presented to the Kenyan parliament, urging a ban on TikTok within the country for its perceived promotion of “inappropriate” behavior.

President Ruto, in a communication shared via X (previously known as Twitter) after the conversation with Chew, emphasized the collaborative effort between Kenya and TikTok to review and oversee content, ensuring alignment with mutually agreed-upon community guidelines and standards. Furthermore, Chew expressed willingness to establish an operational hub in Kenya for better regional coordination, although specific details regarding this are yet to be unveiled.

“Kenya will work with the short-form video hosting service TikTok in reviewing and monitoring its content to ensure that it adheres to the agreed community guidelines and standards.” The statement from Ruto said.

Highlighting the financial gains made by Kenyan content creators, including earnings of up to $3.5 million per month from platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and X, President Ruto reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the platforms were not abused.

“This new development means that inappropriate or offensive content will be expunged from the platform,” the president’s office said, adding that content on the platform will adhere to guidelines set with Kenyan officials.    

Aside from monitoring content, Chew pledged that TikTok would actively engage Kenyan talent to run the Nairobi office, as was communicated through an official statement posted on X by the president’s office.

The Speaker of Kenya’s parliament recently directed the Public Petitions Committee to investigate TikTok in response to a private citizen’s appeal for a ban of the social media platform. A number of allegations, unsupported by evidence, were made against the app, including claims of unauthorized sharing of user data with third-party entities. The petitioner sought parliamentary intervention to protect Kenyans by banning TikTok.

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