Is TikTok doing more harm than good?

If eyes could unsee what trends on Tiktok, especially past 11:00 a.m., Kenyans would be in a much better state of mind.

Apart from the TikTok trends that have set the pace on social media, which ignite a source of harmony and laughs in a country where everything is on the rise when darkness falls, the story is different.

In a shocking incident, a TikTok user initiated a live stream, amassing nearly 400 followers. To their dismay, the host began advertising explicit videos of themselves, offering a price list for interested viewers.

The boundaries are pushed further when a user in the comments requested a sexually suggestive act, which the host shamelessly performed in exchange for TikTok coins/gifts.

During live videos, followers can send gifts in the form of coins, which can later be redeemed for cash. This quest for extra income has attracted individuals willing to cross ethical boundaries to obtain easy money in the form of TikTok coins. The implications are troubling, as it becomes crucial to question the age verification process for consumers of such explicit content.

TikTok’s Community Guidelines explicitly state that uploading or streaming content that is obscene, pornographic, or pedophilic is strictly prohibited.

However, despite these guidelines, Kenyan TikTokers continue to exploit the after-dark hours, believing they are less likely to be reported by viewers. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of TikTok’s moderation, as countless late-night live streams featuring suggestive dancing and explicit content continue to be easily accessible.

Defamation is also another big thing that happens on TikTok.

According to Legal Information Institute; defamation is a statement that injures a third party’s reputation. The tort of defamation includes both libel (written statements) and slander (spoken statements).

Azziad Nasenya arrived at Kibera Law Courts on a July 31. The TikToker took legal action against fellow TikToker Brian Chira over defamation issues. Chira was reported to have been arrested, in police custody, and later released.

However, Brian Chira is a name on TikTok that is associated with content that is explicit.

Many Kenyans have taken to social media to voice their concerns over TikTok’s inaction. One Twitter user suggests that TikTok deliberately ignores these moral issues because such content draws millions of people to the platform, resulting in higher revenue.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, on Wednesday, August 2, promised to regulate night TikTok live sessions that have been flagged for airing immoral content.

Owalo stated that the crackdown was part of the government’s commitment to curb the misuse of social media platforms.

In particular, he hinted at a plan to amend the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act to protect Kenyans from pornographic content shared on TikTok.

“If there are concerns with feasible proposals through which we can improve the Act, then we will go ahead and do that while in partnership with other arms of government such as the National Assembly,” he stated.

Owalo, in the interview with NTV, also explained that his ministry would intervene to ensure children are not exploited on online platforms attracting mass followings.

“The law is very clear on the exploitation of children. We have laws, but they must be augmented with personal responsibility in cyberspace.

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