By John Ikani
A debate has been sparked among Kenyan MPs and citizens over a petition calling for the prohibition of TikTok.
The Kenyan parliament engaged in discussions on Tuesday regarding the petition, which had been submitted by a Kenyan individual named Bob Ndolo.
Mr. Ndolo urged MPs to ban TikTok, citing concerns about its potential to undermine Kenya’s cultural and religious values.
The petitioner also highlighted that TikTok’s inadequate oversight in Kenya has led to an increase in offensive and unsuitable content being shared on the platform.
Reading the petition, the speaker of the Kenyan parliament, Moses Wetangula said “The petition laments that, despite TikTok gaining popularity among Kenyan youth, the content circulated on the platform is inappropriate, fostering violence, explicit sexual material, hate speech, offensive language, and inappropriate behavior. This poses a significant threat to Kenya’s cultural and religious values.”
Mr. Ndolo further asserted that the ban would serve as a safeguard against TikTok’s adverse effects, such as addiction, which could negatively impact students’ education and mental well-being.
He also expressed concerns about potential illicit collection or sharing of Kenyan citizens’ personal information by the app.
Various lawmakers and citizens have lent support to the proposed ban. However, others argue that such a step could impede Kenya’s technological advancement and have financial repercussions for numerous young Kenyans who generate content on TikTok.
Certain legislators, including Kimani Ichung’wah, the majority leader in parliament, have suggested implementing more stringent content regulations on the platform as an alternative to an outright ban.