A petition has been filed in the National Assembly seeking to ban the massively popular social media app TikTok in Kenya on morality grounds.
Confirming this, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangual, on Tuesday, July 2023 said the petition was filed by Bob Ndolo, a chief executive officer the Briget Connect Consultancy.
"The petitioner has decried that the content that is being shared on the social media platform is inappropriate and is promoting violence, vulgar language, explicit sexual content, hate speech which is a serious threat to the cultural and religious values in Kenya," the petition reads in part.
Additionally, Ndolo argues in his petition that the app’s ‘addictive nature’ would contribute to decline in academic performance among Kenyans as well as contribute to increase in depression, mental health issues, sleep deprivation and anxiety among Kenyan youth.
However, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah has already poured cold water on the momentum of the petition arguing that regulation of the platform is what was needed as opposed to an outright ban.
Ichung’wah stated that many Members of Parliament were already using the platform which he argued was not necessarily a problem.
"We cannot as a House preside over banning of any app, we cannot fight with technology. Ndolo should have petitioned the house to look at ways to regulate the use of these apps, and how the ICT department will be able to regulate the content.”
"Outright banning would be killing careers. The government now appreciates this as an industry where we can raise revenues. We just need to regulate," he stated.
TikTok has risen in popularity across the globe with Kenya ranking as the most active African country on Tiktok according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023.
The report indicates that over 54% of internet users in Kenya are currently using the app with 25% indicating they rely on TikTok for news.
The TikTok livestream feature has gained massive popularity in Kenya as many youth try out their luck on the platform that pays streamers and also provides one with an opportunity to earn tidy sums from gifts sent by viewers to their favourite streamers.
Local experts estimate that top TikTok creators in Kenya can easily earn between $2,000 (Ksh287,800) and $3,000 (Ksh431,700) per month from TikTok Live virtual gifts.
It is these live streams that have attracted nationwide condemnation as some creators have been taking advantage of the popularity of the platform and the earning potential to stream obscene material.
With many Kenyans already earning a living and many others strategizing on how to utilise this new promising channel to make an extra Shilling, a ban would affect many up and coming creators who stand a realistic chance in what is seemingly a more democratic space to create a monetisable following.
Some countries have already effected a ban on TikTok either fully or partially due to several concerns including data privacy and accusations of promoting immoral content.
These include; the United States that ordered the removal of the app on government devices as lawmakers push for an outright ban, Canada followed suit with the same directive, the European Union too effected a ban of the app on government devices while Pakistan has banned the app several times.
Afghanistan, in 2022 banned the app stating it as protecting the youth from ‘being misled”.
Compare All Logbook Loans on Money254👇🏿👇🏿