After a meeting with TikTok's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, on Thursday, Kenyan President William Ruto announced that offensive or inappropriate content would be removed from the short-form video platform.
TikTok will collaborate with the Kenyan government to moderate content on its platform to adhere to community standards.
State House officials also said that TikTok would open a regional office in Nairobi and hire more Kenyans to work for the platform, citing Kenya as one of the most active countries on the short-form video app.
According to the Reuters Institute 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.
This move follows a petitioner’s plea to lawmakers to ban TikTok in Kenya. The Majority Leader, Kimani Ichung'wa, said that because the app has primarily employed young people, parliament cannot oversee its suspension.
Opiyo Wandayi, the Minority Leader, agreed, stating that given Kenya's high unemployment rate and the difficult times the country is experiencing, the nation cannot survive independently in the digital age.
Consequently, President Ruto stated that YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook have agreed to push for revenue from youth-created content. He noted that the government has engaged the leadership of these companies to create opportunities for talented Kenyans.
What’s more, on August 2, 2023, the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy of Kenya announced it would review the laws protecting social media users. He also expressed concern about the current trend of TikTok users going live between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. and sharing explicit content.