Kenyan parliament weighing petition to ban TikTok

NAIROBI ,Kenya : The Speaker of Kenya’s parliament has received a petition to ban TikTok in the country for promoting “inappropriate” behaviour and sharing information about its users with a third-party company without users’ consent.

Speaker Moses Wetang’ula said petitioner Bob Ndolo, a private citizen, had sent a letter to parliament, asking it to intervene and take immediate action to safeguard Kenyans from Tik Tok’s negative effects.

“The petitioner has decried that the content that is being shared on the social media platform is inappropriate and is promoting violence, vulgar language, explicit sexual content, hate speech which is a serious threat to the cultural and religious values in Kenya,” the Speaker said, reading from a statement received from the petitioner.

“The platform has shared information about its users with the third-party company without users’ consent,” the petitioner claimed.

The petitioner, who did not provide evidence of his claim that TikTok had shared its users data to third parties, said if TikTok is not banned in Kenya, its addictive nature would lead to negative impacts among the youth.

“The petitioner wants the house to intervene and take immediate action and safeguard Kenyans from TikTok’s negative effects,” said the Speaker, who urged lawmakers to debate and investigate the use of TikTok in the East African nation.

Both the Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah and Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi who represent different coalitions, said they saw nothing wrong with TikTok’s presence in Kenya.

They said it would be better to regulate the app rather than ban it as its has been an avenue for many to create content and earn a living.

The Public Petitions Committee of the house was tasked with investigating TikTok by the Speaker. The group has 60 days to report, and depending on its recommendations, the matter will be debated or dismissed.

The app, which has more than 1 billion users globally, is also facing bans in key markets, including the US and the EU over concerns of its data protection practices.

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