The Executive Officer of Bridget Connect Consultancy, Bob Ndolo, has called on Members of the National Assembly to ban the use of TikTok application in the country saying it is a threat to cultural and religious values.
Mr. Ndolo made the petition on Tuesday, August 15, saying that TikTok has gained popularity among the youths in Kenya despite the inappropriate content shared on it.
The petitioner said that the application has allowed its users to share explicit sexual content, hate speech, vulgar language, offensive behaviours thus a threat to the society.
Mr. Ndolo said that it is difficult to regulate the content shared on TikTok because the internet in Kenya is not regulated by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
He also said that the app has even invaded the privacy of children leading to scandal. According to him still, the App is addictive thus would lead to decline in academic performance, increased mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation among the youth.
In a comment on the petition, Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa said that the App should not be banned since it has been a source of employment for many young people in the country. He said banning TikTok totally is like fighting technology.
“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 like killing careers of many young people who are earning a living through it,” Mr. Ichung’wa said.
Mr. Ichung’wa added that the apps are part of the government effort where young men and women can create content for use in TikTok and Snap chat to earn a living.
Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina said that there is high unemployment rate in Kenya thus MPs cannot ban TikTok but rather regulate the content uploaded on it.
Nominated MP Irene Mayaka also gave her views that banning the app in the country would not solve the problems raised by the petitioner. She noted that with the use of other applications, one can still access content shared on apps used in other countries. She instead urged parents to take responsibility of what their children consume on social media.
Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie and Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino are also among the leaders who gave their views over the matter. The committee will consider the petition and it will give its verdict after 60 days.
By Matildah Obaigwa