TikTok’s Intensifying Calls for App Ban Spark Plans for African Content Moderation Hub in Kenya

Tiktok's Intensifying Calls For App Ban Spark Plans For African Content Moderation Hub In Kenya

On Friday, August 25, 2023, Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, unveiled plans to establish an office in Nairobi to enhance content moderation efforts in Africa amid growing calls for a ban on the app.

Following a meeting between Shou and Kenyan President William Ruto, the Kenyan presidency confirmed the announcement. They stated that “TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has committed to moderating content according to community standards.”

Further details were shared by Ruto, who said, “Mr. Chew has also agreed to establish a Kenyan office to coordinate operations across the continent. Additionally, he has pledged to recruit more Kenyans to work for the platform.”

These discussions took place as Kenya grapples with a parliamentary motion seeking to ban TikTok. This echoes steps taken by Somalia, where a nationwide TikTok ban was recently implemented due to concerns about its impact on the younger generation.

In response to stakeholders’ concerns, Chew affirmed the company’s dedication to creating a safer and more responsible digital environment.

The momentum behind the motion to ban TikTok in Kenya has been gaining in recent weeks, culminating in a petition submitted to Moses Wetang’ula, the Speaker of the National Assembly, last week.

In neighboring Somalia, the government took decisive action by implementing a TikTok ban on August 21.

TikTok is currently facing increased scrutiny from African countries regarding its content and its potential impact on the younger demographic.