Kenyan government recommends regulating TikTok

TikTok Kenya

Kenya’s government has advised lawmakers to impose stricter regulatory oversight on TikTok over concerns about content shared on the platform instead of banning the platform.

A parliament panel has been considering a petition from a Kenyan citizen to ban the Chinese-owned platform. The recommendation follows accusations from the interior ministry that the platform has been used to spread propaganda, carry out fraud, and distribute sexual content.

“Rather than imposing a ban on TikTok, the ministry proposes adopting a co-regulation model,” the information and communication ministry said in an advisory to the panel shared with Reuters on Thursday.

The ministry proposed requiring TikTok to screen content to ensure compliance with Kenyan laws and file quarterly reports to the government on what material it had taken down.

TikTok, a Chinese company owned by ByteDance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In response to similar criticism in other countries, it has defended its record on user privacy.

The company has been facing regulatory scrutiny in several countries, particularly in the West.

Last month, Italy fined three TikTok units for inadequate checks on content deemed potentially harmful to children or vulnerable users.

The U.S. Senate approved legislation last week that would ban TikTok in the United States if ByteDance fails to divest over the next nine months to a year.

The move was driven by widespread worries among U.S. lawmakers that China could access or surveil Americans' data with the app.

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