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Kenya Considers Placing a TikTok Ban on Government Officials over Security Concerns

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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To protect Kenya’s sensitive data, Kenya’s government results in banning Tiktok, a popular Chinese social media platform. The Interior Ministry highlights the danger the popular app has to the country’s data and security. 

Banning TikTok

Public Officers Opinion On Banning TikTok 

Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy reported that examining the laws governing social media users, especially TikTok, has been underway since August 2023. The country has considered banning TikTok due to its effect on its Ministers and citizens. 

Last August, Bridget Connect Consultancy CEO Bob Ndolo filed a petition asking to ban TikTok in Kenya.

The petitioner cited foul language, explicit sexual content, hate speech, and data insecurity, among other issues as the cause for seeking a ban. In addition, he highlighted that the social media platform harmed student’s academic performance.

Also, a scan through the Kenyan TikTok platforms reveals the presence of six or more Cabinet Secretaries, several Principal Secretaries, MPs, and other public officers who have joined the platform and gained a massive following because of the offices they hold.

Effects Of Not Banning TikTok On Kenyan Citizens 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, who was concerned with these revelations, was shocked. He told the parliament that the National Security Council (NSC) is currently dealing with the threats posed by social media platforms including TikTok.

“We are currently dealing with this matter of TikTok at the NSC. As you know, the Interior Ministry coordinates cyber security programs on behalf of the country,” Prof Kindiki said.

“We as the National Police Service (NPS) and National Intelligence Service (NIS) are working with the Ministry of Defence and that of ICT to guard our cyberspace against internal and external threats.” He continues. 

Furthermore, Prof Kindiki told the National Assembly’s Public Petitions committee that the NSC is toying with the idea of whether or not to ban public officials from using TikTok to protect sensitive data.

In addition, he said “Social media has reached an irreversible stage in Kenya and in the world. What we need to ask is whether we want to shut ourselves out of this or learn how to manage this space so that it does not destroy us.”

Negative Impact TikTok Has on Young Ones 

The move to ban the Chinese platform comes after concerns were raised about TikTok’s content and its potential risks, especially for young users. Some officers are pushing to shut TikTok down permanently, arguing its exposure was too much for the Kenyan youths. Furthermore, they highlighted its explicit content and argued it fuels crime.

Consequently, the social media platform allied with the African Union Commission’s Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate (WGYD) to spread the word about staying safe on the app among African youths and parents.

Other African Countries Starts Banning TikTok 

In addition, Kenya is also probing TikTok’s compliance with the data protection laws. If TikTok doesn’t align with the country’s regulations, the government is ready to crack it down.

While Kenya is considering banning or restricting TikTok, some African countries have banned the social media app already. Somalia has restricted the app due to misinformation, hate speeches, and inappropriate content. 

However, the Senegalese government has declined to lift the ban until a consensus regulation is passed. In addition, Egypt and Uganda have considered restricting the platform.


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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