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After conversing with TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, on Thursday, Kenyan President William Ruto revealed intentions to eliminate offensive or unsuitable content from the short-form video platform.

TikTok has committed to collaborating with the Kenyan government to oversee content moderation, ensuring alignment with community standards.

Additionally, TikTok has unveiled plans to establish a regional office in Nairobi, hiring more Kenyan employees to support the platform. This decision comes as Kenya stands out as one of the most active nations on the short-form video app, with a considerable user base.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023 highlights Kenya’s remarkable TikTok usage rate, with 54% of users engaging in general content and 29% utilizing the app for news consumption.

This development occurs in response to a petitioner’s plea to ban TikTok in Kenya, as the Majority Leader, Kimani Ichung’wa, explained that the predominantly young workforce of the app makes it challenging for parliament to oversee a suspension.

Echoing this sentiment, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi emphasized Kenya’s high unemployment rate and the nation’s struggle to thrive independently in the digital era. Consequently, President Ruto announced collaborations with YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook to generate revenue from youth-generated content, fostering opportunities for talented Kenyans.

Furthermore, on August 2, 2023, the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy disclosed intentions to review laws safeguarding social media users.

The President expressed concerns about the prevalence of TikTok users sharing explicit content during late hours, between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

By Elijah Christopher 

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Elijah Christopher is a lifelong creative artist and a journalist for “A New Touch Of Africa”, an American news media and magazine focusing on Africa-related issues, fashion, new technologies and innovations. He has contributed to several published works, most notably a collaborative poem celebrating Scottish poet Edwin Morgan and in 2021 was the winner of the DIAJ Award for his photo-artistry.

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