TikTok to publish quarterly compliance reports in new rules

The popular TokTok platform, which is the subject of regulatory discussions in Kenya.  

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Chinese social media platform, TikTok will be required to publish compliance reports every three months, as Kenya seeks to control the influence of the site, which is blamed for promoting explicit sexual content and violence.

The Ministry of ICT told lawmakers that this is part of the plan to address the negative effects linked to TikTok, instead of banning it from the country.

“To necessitate easy community reporting, TikTok is required to share quarterly compliance reports with the ministry, clearly showing content taken down and reasons for the same,” ICT Principal Secretary John Tanui told lawmakers on Tuesday.

“I urge that we choose regulation instead of a complete ban, and seek your support towards the proposed regulations,” he said.

Mr Tanui added that banning the platform will hurt scores of Kenyan youth and entrepreneurs using TikTok to generate content and advertise their businesses.

In Kenya, TikTok is the third most followed social media after Facebook and YouTube, with an estimated 10.6 million Kenyans aged 18 years and above having an account with the Chinese platform.

The quarterly reports mark the start of a wider plan by the government to start regulating social media platforms to address concerns on addiction, mental health, data privacy, misinformation, child online safety and data security.

TikTok has turned out to be a sensation amongst the Kenyan youth but like in other parts of the world, attracted criticism amid calls to ban it. Countries including India, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand and the UK have banned TikTok.

A report released by Reuters Institute Digital News showed that Kenya led in the use of TikTok, with 54 percent of the sampled population using it for general purposes and 29 per cent relying on the platform for news.

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