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Tiktok Agrees to Have Its Content Moderated in Kenya, Assures President Ruto


Chinese social network TikTok has pledged to work with Kenyan authorities so that its content can be monitored and eventually removed, the presidency of the East African country, where a ban on the platform has been requested, said on Thursday.

“In a virtual meeting with President Ruto on Thursday morning, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew committed to ensuring that content is moderated to meet community standards,” says a statement on the Kenyan presidency’s website.

“TikTok will work with Kenya to review and monitor its content,” the text adds.

“This new development means that inappropriate or offensive content will be removed from the platform”, it assures, indicating that TikTok has also committed to opening an office in Kenya “to coordinate its operations on the continent” and “to hire more Kenyans”.

No details were provided on the modalities and timing of this content moderation.

The popular video-sharing app owned by the Chinese group ByteDance is very popular in Kenya, where a businessman, Bob Ndolo, recently asked Parliament to rule on its ban.

“The applicant denounces the fact that (…) the content shared on the platform is inappropriate and promotes violence, explicit sexual content, hate speech, vulgar language and offensive behavior that pose a serious threat to Kenya’s cultural and religious values,” National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula detailed to MPs on August 15.

A parliamentary committee is due to study the request within two months.

Kenya’s neighbor Somalia announced on Sunday that it was banning TikTok, as well as the Telegram messaging service and an online betting site, with effect from August 24, claiming that these platforms were being used by “terrorists”, notably the radical Islamist Shebab.

In Senegal, the authorities suspended it in early August until “further notice” due to the dissemination of “hateful and subversive” messages following protests against the imprisonment of opposition figure Ousmane Sonko.

The application, which has more than a billion active users worldwide, is also suspected by the authorities in the USA and several European countries of not protecting data sufficiently and of allowing Beijing to spy on and manipulate its users, something the group has always vigorously denied.

Source: Africa News

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