CS Ababu Affirms the Government's Commitment to work with TikTok on Content Regulation and monetization
The Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Ababu Namwamba, EGH, on 31st August 2023, chaired a roundtable meeting with representatives from TikTok led by Mr. Fortune Mgwili Sibanda – Head of Government Relations and Public Policy – Sub-Saharan Africa.
PS, State Department for Youth Affairs and the Arts, Mr. Ismail Maalim Madey, Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Ag. CEO, Mr. Joel Wamalwa, Kenya Film Commission (KFC), CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase, Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Executive Director, Mr. Edward Sigei, among other dignitaries, attended the meeting.
They discussed collaboration between Kenya and TikTok on content monitoring, moderation, regulation, monetization, as well as copyright, among other issues.
The CS lauded TikTok for their willingness to collaborate with Kenya and reiterated the Government's commitment to work with TikTok in ensuring that content exhibited on the platform conforms to Kenya's culture, values, and norms.
The CS also noted that collaboration with TikTok is geared towards protecting minors from exposure to harmful content while creating opportunities for talented youths to monetize their talents.
"The Government of Kenya is committed to working with TikTok and other Video-on-demand (VOD) platforms on content moderation to safeguard Kenya’s norms and values as well as monetization of talent in line with our Talanta Hela Initiative and the 5th pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA)," the CS said.
CS Namwamba observed that TikTok is a popular platform that has enabled young people to express themselves creatively and share their experiences with the world.
While VOD platforms have created entrepreneurship opportunities, the CS said that some platforms are unfortunately being used to spread misinformation and promote cyberbullying, and other forms of harm, especially to minors, emphasizing the need for such platforms to be regulated.
"The conversation we are having with TikTok and other VOD's is timely and we are confident that through this and subsequent meetings, we shall craft strategies on how best to make the platforms safer for children and more beneficial to content creators" he added.
The CS said that the Government through key agencies like KFCB shall continue to engage Tiktok and other platforms on programs aimed at empowering content consumers while creating job opportunities for the youths.
PS Maalim observed that TikTok and other VODs have created job opportunities for the youths, but noted the need to ensure that content exhibited on the platforms is within Kenya Film Classification Board's Guidelines, culture, values, and norms.
"We have the duty to ensure that the audio-visual content exhibited on online platforms respects our Kenyan culture and values," the PS said.
On his part, Mr. Wamalwa indicated that KFCB has had engagements with TikTok, especially in capacity building for staff on content monitoring and parental controls.
Mr. Sibanda affirmed TikTok's commitment to work with key Government agencies in ensuring that content exhibited on its platforms conforms to Kenya's culture and values.
"We acknowledge some of the challenges experienced on the live feature and we are stepping up our efforts on regulating the same," he said.
Mr. Sibanda added that TikTok will work with the Government of Kenya on content monetization for creatives using the platform.
He added that TikTok will partner with key Government agencies to create awareness on the available parental controls, monitoring mechanisms, and community guidelines.
Issues of intellectual property and copyright were also discussed at the meeting.