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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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    Kenyans discuss TikTok ban petition

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    A petition calling for the outlawing of TikTok has sparked heated debate in Kenya’s parliamentary and popular spheres.

    On Tuesday, the Kenyan parliament held a thorough debate on the petition, which was presented by Kenyan citizen Bob Ndolo.

    Mr. Ndolo urged Members of Parliament to consider prohibiting TikTok, claiming that the site violates Kenya’s core cultural and religious values.

    In his contribution, the petitioner emphasised TikTok’s poor regulation in Kenya, connecting it to an increase of inflammatory and inappropriate content on the platform.

    The Kenyan parliament’s Speaker, Moses Wetangula, stated, “The petition emphasises that, while TikTok has gained significant popularity among Kenya’s youth, the nature of content being disseminated on the platform is unsuitable.” This tendency, which includes the promotion of violence, explicit sexual material, hate speech, profanity, and disrespectful behaviour, endangers Kenya’s cultural and religious values.”

    Mr. Ndolo also emphasised that the ban would serve as a protection, protecting Kenyans from TikTok’s negative consequences, which include addiction, potentially disturbing kids’ schooling and mental well-being. He also raised worry over the app’s possible illegal gathering or broadcast of Kenyan residents’ personal data.

    A split in opinion occurred throughout the legislative debate. While some MPs and residents supported the proposed ban, others expressed concerns, noting potential losses to Kenya’s technology growth and the livelihoods of many young TikTok video creators.

    Lawmakers such as the majority leader in parliament, Kimani Ichung’wah, have called for a new strategy. Instead of an outright ban, they advocated more content supervision on the network.

    The TikTok prohibition petition has sparked an important debate, illustrating the delicate balance between cultural preservation, technical innovation, and the influence of the digital world on society. As the debate continues, Kenyan stakeholders struggle to find a way ahead that best reflects the nation’s beliefs and goals.

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