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TikTok to open office in Kenya, promises to moderate content

The Government of Kenya and social media platform TikTok have agreed to work together to review and monitor the flow of content in the country.

The agreement was reached on Thursday morning during a virtual meeting between President William Ruto and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, who agreed to set up a Kenyan office to coordinate their operations on the continent.

During the meeting, President Ruto said he would ensure that content on short-form video hosting service platform TikTok adheres to agreed guidelines.

The platform’s CEO expressed his commitment to ensuring that content is moderated to meet community standards, meaning that inappropriate or offensive content will be removed from the platform.

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There have been numerous concerns raised at the National Assembly and Kenyan public on the inappropriate content being shared on the platform.

The TikTok boss also pledged to hire more Kenyans to work on the platform.

The meeting comes hours after President Ruto promised Kenyans to seek moderation of contents on the platform and monetization in order to benefit those who are using it positively.

“I know we have heard about the challenges that are in that space. And like we have content moderation in platforms such as YouTube and Twitter, tomorrow morning we will have the same conversation with the global CEO of TikTok,” Ruto said on Wednesday while in Nakuru State Lodge.

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The President added that when it comes to monetization of contents being shared on YouTube, Kenyan is at 80 per cent, becoming one of the four countries in the African continent to monetize contents.

Last week, Ben Ndolo, who is the Executive Officer of Bridget Connect Consultancy, petitioned the National Assembly to consider banning use of TikTok in the country.

In his petition, Mr Ndolo stated that the platform was exposing young people to explicit sexual content.

The petitioner further said TikTok is popular among the youth but the content shared therein was inappropriate, hence promoting violence, explicit sexual content, hate speech, vulgar language, and offensive behaviours which is a serious threat to cultural and religious values.

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