- The Kenyan government is cracking down on inappropriate TikTok livestreams, demanding the feature be disabled for now.
- Explicit late night streams are being targeted, with any policy-violating content to be removed within 1 minute.
- Kenya is threatening device bans for repeat offenders who continue streaming inappropriate content after being disabled.
The Kenyan government is taking drastic measures to regulate inappropriate content on TikTok, including disabling live streaming capabilities and threatening device bans for violations. The clampdown comes amidst growing concerns over sexualized livestreams proliferating on the platform.
In an interview with Citizen TV, Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Joel Wamalwa revealed that the board recently engaged TikTok to address content concerns. A key demand was disabling TikTok’s live feature until better vetting of Kenyan users’ credentials can be implemented.
“We have asked them that the lewd character, sexualized content that is being uploaded on their platform should be taken down immediately,” Wamalwa asserted.
Implementing Self-Regulation and Algorithm Changes
According to Wamalwa, TikTok has agreed to implement self-regulation measures where creators must ensure content abides by guidelines before publishing. The platform will also enhance its algorithms to automatically flag inappropriate material.
Disabling live streaming is aimed at protecting minors who may access the feature without parental supervision. Wamalwa also pointed out that risky content typically spikes between 10pm and 3am, and TikTok will boost monitoring of Kenyan streams during this period.
“If this feature violates community guidelines, it should not run for more than one minute. It is stopped immediately. And that account is disabled,” he explained.
IMEI Tracking to Disable Repeat Offender Accounts
TikTok will also track phone IMEI numbers associated with guideline-breaking streams.
“The IMEI that’s running that particular live feature should have that account disabled from running on that particular platform,” Wamalwa asserted.
“It will be very difficult for a user to keep buying gadgets if your gadget cannot run with TikTok. You will discard the phone yes, and go buy another one then install that one again because it’s your bad behavior then again it will be disabled,” Wamalwa warned.
Monetization and Taxation Also in Focus
In addition to content, monetization and taxation of TikTok were discussed between KFCB and TikTok. The government is working to ensure revenues generated by Kenyan creators are taxed domestically, rather than flowing abroad.
The KFCB also emphasized that regulating digital content is not meant to stifle innovation but rather create a safer, more responsible online space.
Kenya’s approach signifies a localized crackdown on TikTok as authorities seek tighter rein over the platform’s impacts on society. While access remains open, stringent new enforcement mechanisms make clear that abuse of TikTok features will not be tolerated. For Kenyan users, increased diligence will be required to avoid running afoul of the new rules.