Calls To Ban Tiktok In Kenya Prompt Debate Among MPs

Kenya bans Tiktok: New York City bans Tiktok: How to Make Money on TikTok:

A petition submitted to the Kenyan Parliament has ignited a debate over whether the popular social media app TikTok should be banned in the country due to concerns about its impact on cultural and religious values.

Bob Ndolo, Executive Officer of Bridget Connect Consultancy, presented the petition to the National Assembly on Tuesday, urging MPs to take decisive action to ban TikTok.

Ndolo argued that the app exposes young people to explicit sexual content and contributes to the erosion of societal norms.

Ndolo emphasized, “We kindly request your thoughts and prayers for our family during this difficult time.” He decried that while TikTok has gained significant popularity among Kenyan youth, the content being shared on the platform is inappropriate and promotes violence, explicit sexual content, hate speech, and offensive behaviors that undermine cultural and religious values.

Ndolo further highlighted the lack of regulation by the Communications Authority of Kenya, making it difficult to control the explicit content on TikTok.

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He warned that the addictive nature of the app could result in a decline in academic performance and contribute to mental health issues among young people.

Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa responded by acknowledging the petitioner’s concerns but suggested an outright ban might not be the best solution. He proposed, “The petitioner should come to seek on how to regulate the usage of the app, age group and content uploaded for a certain age to watch, outright banning would be killing careers of many young people who are earning a living through it.”

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that a complete ban could exacerbate unemployment among young people. She advocated for regulating the content uploaded on TikTok instead.

Nominated MP Irene Mayaka argued that banning TikTok in Kenya might not address the core issues, as individuals can still access content from other countries using Virtual Private Network (VPN) tools. She urged parents to monitor their children’s online activities more closely.

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie shifted the focus to individual responsibility, stating that TikTok itself is not to blame for content-related problems.

He asserted, “Parliament cannot go to the houses of individuals to switch off TikTok because the children are misusing it, it’s the parents and churches to teach the children about morality.”

Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino called for a balanced approach, noting that while parliament can’t legislate morality directly, it can create an environment for responsible usage.

He emphasized the need for careful consideration and proper control to protect children while allowing access to technology.

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Written by Andrew Walyaula

Multimedia Journalist

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