‘We can’t fight technology’- Kenyan parliament throws out petition to ban TikTok

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The petition said even though the app has become widely popular among the country’s young population, the content circulated on the platform is unsuitable.
Kenya TikTok African TikTok

The Kenyan parliament has thrown out a petition seeking to ban the popular social media platform, TikTok in the country. According to the petitioner, TikTok is a major contributor to the erosion of culture and loss of morals in the East African country. The parliament, however, is of the notion that they can not fight technology.

The Majority Leader of the parliament, Kimani Ichung’wa, stated that because the app has given the majority of young people jobs, the parliament cannot oversee its prohibition. He explained that the apps are part of the government’s efforts to create jobs and banning them would be tantamount to killing the careers of many young people.

“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. These 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,”

Kimani Ichung’wa Majority Leader of the parliament

The petition was brought before the parliament by a business leader, Bob Ndolo, who is the Executive Officer of Bridget Connect Consultancy. The petition expressed concern over the fact that even though the app has become widely popular among the country’s young population, the content circulated on the platform is unsuitable.

Ndolo said the content encourages violence, explicit sexual material, hate speech, indecent language, and offensive actions, posing a significant challenge to cultural and religious principles.

He asserted that the absence of regulation from the Communications Authority of Kenya over the internet in the country makes it challenging to oversee the content uploaded on TikTok. In his petition, Ndolo contended that TikTok’s intrusion into the privacy of young ones has led to the emergence of scandals.

Kenyan members of parliament rule against ban on TikTok

Several other members of parliament argued against the ban. Kirinyaga Woman Representative, Njeri Maina, highlighted the significant unemployment rate in Kenya, particularly among the youth. Due to this concern, she suggested that while Members of Parliament cannot ban TikTok, they do have the ability to oversee and manage the content that is shared on the platform.

Nominated MP, Irene Mayaka, pointed out that prohibiting the app’s use within Kenya wouldn’t address the concerns raised by the petitioner. She explained that even with tools like Virtual Private Networks (VPN), individuals could still access content from applications in other countries. She, therefore, urged parents to monitor what their children consume on social media.

Martin Owino, a Ndhiwa MP, emphasized that while parliament cannot legislate morality, it also cannot create an environment in which it may flourish. He urged that a delicate balancing act be used to decide how to approach the situation.

Reportedly, the petition by Bob Ndolo will be considered by the committee which will give its verdict after 60 days.

Kenyan authorities and social media creators

Some months ago, Kenyan content social media Creators criticized the administration of William Ruto’s decision to impose a 15% withholding tax on money produced from digital content monetization. The idea to tax content creators in Kenya is one of several changes planned for the Finance Bill. Money derived from the monetization of a creator’s content will be taxed at a rate of 15%.

Kenya President William Ruto signs the Finance Bill into law
Kenya-President-William-Ruto-signs-the-Finance-Bill-into-law

Popular comedian and content creator, Alex Mathenge said he does not have a problem with being taxed, however, the government hasn’t done anything for content creators to earn the right to demand taxes. “You cannot milk a cow which you’ve not given grass,” he said.

He added that before the government considers taxing content creators, it must first create an environment that supports individuals working in the digital economy.

Another TikTok celebrity, Mohammed Assad Alby, said jobs are tough to come by in Kenya, which is why many young people have turned to content creation as a creative method to make money. He did, however, warn that generating money in the industry is difficult.

Read More: Netherlands joins the growing list of countries to ban officials from using TikTok

Social media is an advantage for job opportunities

Not just career-focused social media sites like LinkedIn, but all social media networks are helpful for finding a job. Many employers utilize social media platforms to obtain people’s personal information in order to screen applicants. When used properly, social networking can be advantageous when looking for work.

The rise of online networking in South Africa has led businesses to utilize social media for marketing, advertising, and even vetting potential hires. Social media platforms including websites and apps for content sharing and networking, offer advantages for job seekers. These platforms aid in connecting modern job seekers with potential employers by screening their profiles.

Over 60% of employers who screen candidates on social media networks do so to evaluate whether the job seeker presents themselves professionally. Approximately half of them want to know if the candidate will fit in with the corporate culture, while the remaining 45% want to understand more about their qualifications. While most employers do not deliberately hunt for derogatory posts, over half of them have claimed that they have discovered information on social media that has caused them to decline an interview with the candidate.

Provocative or inappropriate images, evidence of drinking or drug usage, discriminating statements, proof of unfavourable comments about prior employees, and poor communication skills are all major factors for this.

The danger of using social media is worth it if it is managed effectively. Many businesses are less likely to interview job prospects who cannot be found online, deleting all accounts is not an option for job searchers. If used correctly, social media can be leveraged to a job seeker’s benefit.

Read More: TikTok now allows users to make posts in text format as social media competition tightens


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