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CS Owalo's plan to crack down on TikTok users sharing explicit content

The ministry aims to create a safer online environment where users can enjoy the benefits of social media without fear of encountering explicit and harmful content.

A collage of ICT CS Eliud Owalo and the TikTok logo

The government has announced plans to review existing policies and regulatory frameworks in response to the increasing cases of explicit content being shared on social media platforms, with a particular focus on TikTok.

The move comes after growing concerns about users on TikTok going live during the late hours of the night to share explicit content.

Eliud Owalo, the Information, Communication, and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary, expressed deep concern over this disturbing trend and its potential impact on the younger generation.

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The ministry aims to take swift action to regulate the sharing of explicit content by Kenyan users on the video-sharing platform, TikTok, especially during the late hours.

Kenya has laws in place to combat cyber misuse and child pornography, which includes the Computer Misuse and Cyber Act.

According to the Act, individuals found to be knowingly engaging in sexually explicit conduct or sharing realistic images representing a child involved in explicit conduct can face severe penalties. These penalties may include conviction, a fine of up to Sh10 million, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

The goal is to protect the online space from the dissemination of explicit content that can be harmful to society, particularly to vulnerable individuals, including children and teenagers.

CS Eliud Owalo emphasized that the government is aware of the responsibility to strike a balance between maintaining freedom of expression and protecting the public from harmful content.

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The review process will involve collaboration with various stakeholders, including social media platforms like TikTok, to develop measures that safeguard against the misuse of online spaces for explicit content sharing.

As the popularity of TikTok continues to grow in Kenya, the government recognizes the urgency of taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens, especially the younger generation, in the digital realm.

The ministry aims to create a safer online environment where users can enjoy the benefits of social media without fear of encountering explicit and harmful content.

The public is encouraged to report any instances of explicit content shared on TikTok or other social media platforms to relevant authorities, enabling swift action to be taken against those violating the law.

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