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EXCLUSIVE: TikTok addresses copyright issues, reveals plans to monetize in Kenya

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 12th, 2023 2 min read

TikTok, the popular social media platform known for its viral short-form videos, is taking proactive steps to address copyright concerns and has revealed ambitious plans for monetizing Kenyan content on the platform.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, TikTok’s Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, shared insights into the platform’s strategies and future developments.

One of the pressing issues addressed by Sibanda was copyright infringement, a concern that affects the platform when creators use other people’s content without authorization. Sibanda explained TikTok’s approach, stating:

“On copyrights, we do a three-strike system, warning, elevated warning, and then total ban. Transgression which involves minors is nonnegotiable, and we not only take down the bad content but cooperate with law enforcement to ensure prosecution as well.”

With concerns about content ownership and copyright violations on the platform, TikTok is actively working to maintain a fair and responsible environment for its users.

When questioned about TikTok’s user base, Sibanda revealed:

“We have at least 1 billion monthly active users globally.” This staggering number highlights the platform’s immense reach and popularity.

Sibanda also unveiled TikTok’s plans to monetize Kenyan content directly, potentially creating new millionaires from the platform.

“Monetisation is in the pipeline for Kenya and other key markets. South Africa is already monetized. That’s one of our key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, then there’s also Nigeria and Kenya. So this is a big focus for us. And we’re hoping sooner rather than later, we can share some awesome news with you guys, on turning on those features for Kenyan publishers and even individual creators.”

Sibanda emphasized that monetization is a significant part of TikTok’s business model and reassured creators that there are various avenues for making money on the platform, even before the formal monetization feature is launched.

He mentioned a new feature called “TikTok series,” which allows media houses and creators to put specific content behind a paywall, giving users the option to subscribe and access premium content.

In contrast to some other social media platforms, TikTok does not currently have plans to introduce paid verification.

Keagile Makgoba, Communications Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, stated:

“Don’t stress too much about it, just apply for your verification if you merit. Paid verification is not even a point of discussion on our side because we’ve got bigger things that are of interest to our users that we would rather focus on.”

She said that TikTok values its user community and aims to prioritize user experience and accessibility.

Looking ahead, Sibanda also announced that TikTok will provide creators with the ability to file complaints whenever their videos are used without permission or stolen.

This move reaffirms TikTok’s commitment to protecting the intellectual property of its users and ensuring a fair and ethical content-sharing environment on the platform.

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