Kenya demands quarterly compliance reports from TikTok over safety concerns

April 18, 2024
2 min read
  • Kenya plans to mandate TikTok to publish compliance reports every three months as part of its strategy to increase efforts to regulate the short-video platform.
  •  The Ministry of ICT recently informed lawmakers that this move is part of a strategy to address TikTok's negative effects rather than ban it from the country. 
  • With this development, the government has launched a larger plan to regulate social media platforms to address challenges, including mental health, data privacy, misinformation, child online safety, and data security. 

In March 2024, Kenya’s Interior Ministry considered limiting the use of TikTok by government officials to protect sensitive data and Kenyans' security. 

 Kithure Kindiki, Secretary of the Interior Cabinet, revealed then that the National Security Council (NSC) has been battling threats associated with social media platforms, including TikTok.

According to the new development, ICT Principal Secretary John Tanui stated to legislators, "To facilitate easy community reporting, TikTok is required to share quarterly compliance reports with the ministry, clearly showing content removed and reasons for the same." 

While emphasising the importance of regulation over a complete ban, Tanui stated that banning the platform would cause more harm than good because millions of Kenyan youth and entrepreneurs rely on TikTok for income through content creation and business advertising.

According to a 2023 report, Kenya has the world's highest TikTok usage rate, with 54% using the app for general purposes and approximately 29% for news. 

Meanwhile, TikTok has also been making moves to address the issues. During an appearance before the Kenyan Parliament on April 16, 2024, the platform announced it will continue to provide capacity-building workshops on online safety, data privacy, and content moderation to Kenyan policymakers and regulatory agencies.

It has also partnered with the African Union Commission's Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate (WGYD) to raise awareness of online safety among African youth and parents.

The social media platform has been banned in African countries, including Senegal and Somalia and non-African countries such as Canada, Afghanistan, the United States, and India. 

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