Truth Behind TikTok Decision to Ban Live Feature in Kenya

Speculations went rife on Saturday, alleging that TikTok is set to disable its live feature in Kenya as part of the content regulation measures in the country.

The reports, which trended for the better part of Saturday morning, claimed that the decision arrived during a meeting between the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and TikTok owners.  

However, contrary to the reports shared widely on social media sites, the decision was not arrived at.

A spot check by ascertained that KFCB’s board requested TikTok to disable live features of content creators who break community guidelines, including airing immoral content. 

President William Ruto holding a meeting with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew alongside other government officials including Trade CS Moses Kuria on August 24, 2023.


This request is yet to be ratified by TikTok’s management.

Wamalwa, in an interview on Citizen TV on Friday night, stated that the recommendation culminated from a series of meetings held with the TikTok leadership to promote clean content on the platform.

He cautioned that children were at risk of accessing explicit content without their parents’ knowledge.

“We have demanded that the Live feature be disabled until they ascertain all the credentials that are coming from Kenya and they have accepted within their platform, they can determine when such features are emanating from Kenya. The hours normally begin from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am, they have to focus more resources in Kenya,” he said.

The board also asked TikTok to introduce measures to discourage the posting of explicit content by tracking a device’s IMEI number and subsequently disabling it from operating on the platform.

“It will be very difficult for a user to be purchasing devices every now and then to run different accounts,” he explained.

Wamalwa added that content creators would also play a part by self-regulating their content before it goes live.

“We asked them to take down the lewd explicit content uploaded on their platform, we have agreed that they are going to calibrate their systems in a manner that once a content creator uploads content, there are measures put in place to self-regulate and on their back end they will enhance their algorithms to sieve inappropriate content,” he detailed.

Additionally, the acting CEO said plans are in place to ensure content creators pay taxes due to the global shift from traditional news to digital media.

“Some of them are making a lot of money quickly and have low running costs. When you want to plow back such amounts of money back to the industry, it is impossible to do so if the company is operating in Kenya and revenues are paid elsewhere,” he added.

On August 24, 2023, President William Ruto held meetings with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to discuss regulation measures on the platform.

These involved permanent bans, removal of content, and restricted features, as well as proposals to amend the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act to introduce penalties to content creators who post graphic content.  

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew during a past meeting


Shou Zi Chew

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