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National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has confirmed that his office received a petition for banning TikTok in Kenya.
The petitioner is concerned both about the content users share on the platform and its user data collection policy.
Kenyan Assembly receives petition to ban TikTok
Bob Ndolo, CEO of the Briget Connect Consultancy, has submitted a petition for banning TikTok in the entire country.
Ndolo and like-minded Kenyans are of the opinion that the platform’s content has a negative impact on the nation’s youth.
They’re worried about posts depicting sex, violence, hate speech, and vulgar language.
The petitioner also commented that the platform’s addictive nature may lead to a decline in academic performance. He added that TikTok may cause mental health issues and sleep deprivation, as well.
Furthermore, Ndolo is concerned about the company’s past problems with data collection. He argued that TikTok has previously sold user information to a third-party company without consent.
Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah responded that they, as a house, can’t preside over banning an app in the entire country.
He added that they should instead come up with ways to regulate the use of such apps. His stance is also that shutting down TikTok in Kenya would cost people their jobs and cause further problems.
Still, Ndolo’s petition didn’t come out of the blue. In the past few days, the general public kept expressing its concern with the content the youth is engaging with.
This was a response to many Kenyans misusing TikTok to share adult content, send inappropriate messages, and bully other users. Additionally, a recent study showed that Kenya is the world’s top TikTok user.
The platform has also recently faced a similar problem in the US. The authorities suggested they would restrict its use in the entire country if Chinese owners don’t sell their stakes.
They questioned TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew, also raising questions about data collection.