Short-form video hosting service TikTok will work directly with the Kenyan government to monitor and moderate content posted to the platform, President William Ruto announced Thursday following a virtual meeting with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.
Under the new cooperative agreement, TikTok has committed to removing inappropriate or offensive videos and ensuring that all content follows community guidelines aligned with Kenyan values.
The partnership comes after growing concern from Kenyan officials over videos hosted on TikTok that contain nudity, violence, hate speech and misinformation.
As part of the agreement, TikTok will establish a local office in Nairobi to coordinate operations across Africa and hire additional staff based in Kenya. Chew said the expansion underscores TikTok’s commitment to the region.
President Ruto praised TikTok’s willingness to collaborate and said the pact will have a positive impact.
“Kenya will work with the short-form video hosting service TikTok in reviewing and monitoring its content to ensure that it adheres to the agreed community guidelines and standards. It is our commitment that we bring up our children in the right environment,” Ruto said.
TikTok has exploded in popularity among young people in Kenya, amassing over 1.7 million users since launching locally in 2018. Its growth has outpaced rivals, in part due to its short-form video format that resonates with youth.
But some uploads have caused controversy, like viral videos promoting dangerous stunts. Other clips have been called out for containing adult content. This led to calls for TikTok to ramp up monitoring efforts.