August 29, 2023

Facing Ban Threats, TikTok Pledges Nairobi Office, Local Hiring, and Content Monitoring

William Auto

Kenyan President William Ruto announced that offensive or inappropriate content will be removed from TikTok after a virtual meeting with TikTok’s CEO.

TikTok and the Kenyan Government

According to the Reuters Institue Digital News Report 2023, Kenya has the highest TikTok usage rate worldwide, with 54% of users in the country using the app for general purposes and 29% for news.

During the virtual call with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, it was agreed that TikTok will collaborate with the Kenyan government to review and monitor its content.

The collab will ensure that content on the platform adheres to agreed TikTok guidelines.

They also announced that TikTok would open a Kenyan office in Nairobi, hiring more Keynans to work for the platform.

This comes after Kenyan Ben Ndolo started a petition to ban TikTok in Kenya.

Ndolo claims that content on TikTok is inappropriate as it “promotes violence, explicit sexual content, hate speech, vulgar language, and offensive behaviour, which is a serious threat to the cultural and religious values of Kenya.”

Ruto said, “This new development means that inappropriate or offensive content will be expunged from the platform.”

A Solution for all

The Majority Leader, Kimani Ichung’wa, said that because the app has primarily employed young people, parliament cannot oversee the suspension of TikTok.

Therefore, Ruto stated that other platforms, including YouTube, X and Facebook, have also agreed to push for revenue from youth-created content.

He said that the government has engaged the leadership of these companies to create opportunities for talented Kenyans. 

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.