President William Ruto has weighed in on the ongoing TikTok controversy, where a petitioner has called for the popular social media platform's ban due to concerns over its impact on cultural and religious values.
President Ruto, addressing the issue during the 95th Kenya Music Festival Winners State Concert at State House Nakuru, announced his plans to engage with TikTok's CEO to establish measures for content moderation on the platform.
The President revealed his intentions on Wednesday, asserting that he would hold discussions with TikTok's chief executive on Thursday to collaboratively address the issue.
"Tomorrow, I will have a discussion with the CEO of TikTok so that we can agree on modalities of moderating content on the platform, I know we have had issues with TikTok in the recent past but I promise to resolve the matter," Ruto said.
The timing of this revelation aligns with recent calls by petitioner Bob Ndolo, who is also the managing director of Bridget Connect Consultancy.
Ndolo has urged Members of Parliament to ban TikTok's usage, emphasizing that the application is exposing young people to explicit sexual content.
In a petition submitted to the National Assembly, Ndolo implored MPs to take prompt action against the platform.
Ndolo's concerns are centred around the inappropriate content that circulates on TikTok, which he claims promotes violence, explicit sexual content, hate speech, vulgar language, and offensive behaviour.
He believes that this content poses a significant threat to the cultural and religious values of the nation, particularly as it gains popularity among the youth.
Furthermore, Ndolo argued that TikTok has faced privacy scandals internationally due to its ability to collect users' private information without obtaining consent.
He stressed that the government should step in to protect citizens from the potential negative effects of using the app.
Ndolo's ultimate proposal is either the implementation of stringent measures to mitigate the app's negative impact or an outright ban on its usage in Kenya.
President Ruto's involvement in seeking discussions with TikTok's CEO signals a proactive approach to addressing these concerns.
As the issue gains momentum, the nation will be watching closely to see how these talks progress and what actions will be taken to address the controversy and ensure the platform's content aligns with the nation's cultural and religious values.