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Tiktok announces initiatives to curb platform misuse this election season in Kenya

Tiktok is taking a keen interest in the forthcoming general elections in Kenya and has put in place a number of strategies to curb misinformation, hate speech and the spread of fake news on its platform.

In a media engagement on Thursday, the video-sharing platform said that it’s working with various stakeholders including the government to ensure that “information is disseminated responsibly. “

Among the initiatives announced is an Elections Hub which is integrated within the app to help spread factual and authoritative information about the general election.

“We are engaging with diverse stakeholders in Kenya to discuss opportunities and challenges for dynamic solutions in a fast-paced digital world. Our resolve is to spread positivity in markets where we operate as we promote peaceful coexistence,” said TikTok’s SSA Government Relations, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda.

Sibanda said similar strategies had proven beneficial to the electoral process. In South Africa, for instance, the in-app Election Hub set up in the 2019 general election was used by over 90 million TikTok users.

“TikTok plays a significant role in shaping discourse around Important topics. Using TikTok as a medium through which to engender an atmosphere of mutual cooperation during Kenya’s national election period is part of our resolve to provide a platform that promotes peace and provides a safe space for positive digital expression,” says Mgwili-Sibanda.

Besides the in-app election hub, TikTok is also running a three-part live streaming campaign dubbed #TikTokForPeace that will be hosted at the Strathmore University, Policy Innovation Centre. The initiative will engage opinion shapers in government, civil society and academia.

Social media platforms have consistently been under scrutiny for being spaces where hate speech and disinformation are spread. With more than one billion active monthly users, TikTok has endeavoured to enforce community guidelines to ensure that only safe content circulates within the platform.

“We share publish enforcement report every three months.” Fortune said, “Over 100 million videos were taken down between January and March this year for violating community guidelines.”

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Simon W Nderitu

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