TikTok has agreed to open an office in Kenya and remove offensive posts for users in the country following a virtual meeting between President William Ruto and the app’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew.
President Ruto stated that Chew had agreed to work with Kenya in reviewing and monitoring its content, as well as to set up an office in Kenya to coordinate its operations in the continent.
“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. It is our commitment that we bring up our children in the right environment,” Ruto tweeted.
Chew said that the platform is committed to ensuring that content is moderated to meet community standards. He pledged to hire more Kenyans to work for the platform.
The meeting follows a recent petition to Kenya’s parliament this month to ban TikTok in the country for promoting inappropriate behaviour. Bob Ndolo, the petitioner, contended that the explicit content within TikTok encourages sexual violence, propagates hate speech, and exhibits indecency, all of which erode Kenya’s cultural and religious principles.
Ndolo further asserted that if the Chinese-owned app is not prohibited, it jeopardizes the mental well-being of the youth and contributes to a drop in academic achievements due to its addictive characteristics.
TikTok is banned in at least 10 countries worldwide, with the latest addition being Somalia, which banned access to the app to limit propaganda and indecent content.
Several countries in Europe have banned TikTok officially over concerns of data privacy. Earlier this year, the European Commission, European Council, and NATO banned the platform from official devices due to privacy concerns.