Following today’s virtual meeting with President Ruto, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has agreed to set up a Kenyan office to coordinate its operations in the continent. This comes after a petition was tabled before the Parliament seeking to ban the short-form video platform.
The petition filed by Bob Ndolo, an executive officer of the Briget Connect Consultancy cited explicit content being shared on the platform and lack of privacy as reasons for a ban. The petition drew different reactions from the members of the house as some asked for more moderate measures to be taken rather than banning TikTok in the country altogether.
This is not the first time there have been calls for a TikTok ban in the country. Earlier this year, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) called for the platform to be banned within the republic citing the lack of restrictions on explicit content shared. The letter addressed to President Ruto, cited the need to protect minors who may be exposed to the aforementioned material being posted on the site.
The President had a scheduled meeting with Shou earlier today to agree on a mechanism to moderate content on TikTok. President William Ruto says that this move will be necessary to reduce “negative content” as well as to leverage the monetization offered on the platform.
TikTok has agreed to work with Kenya in reviewing and monitoring its content with CEO Shou Zi Chew committing to ensure that content is moderated to fit community standards. This move will mean inappropriate or offensive content will be expunged from the platform. The President has said, this will ensure that content on the platform adheres to agreed guidelines.
Shou Zi Chew has further pledged to offer more employment opportunities to Kenyans on the platform.