TikTok has updated its terms and policies on branded content and has halted content creators from promoting cryptocurrency. The prohibited list has been put under Financial Services and Products. Under this, topics including cryptocurrency, loans, credit cards, trading platforms, and investment services have been listed. This means that influencers on the platform who promote such products may need to find another platform.
Financial services have become a common way to scam users online. In the recent past, an influential persona in Kenya was accused of working with pyramid schemes to defraud the public. Influencers have a massive following, and these numbers can quickly generate high returns for them.
In this particular case, the influencer introduced his dedicated followers to a scheme that required users to pay a small fee and refer their friends. Every friend who signed up would earn the referrer some commission. His code was plastered there on his stories every day, meaning he was earning commissions from multiple sign-ups. When he was called out for the vice, the influencer persisted, saying he was supporting the youth and that people should have faith in the creators of such schemes as they were running legit businesses.
A number of concerned users contacted Safaricom and issued their complaints about the pyramid scheme. The telco responded and shut down the pay bill number. Any money that had been left hanging was refunded to the users.
This is not a unique case, as many jobless youths are desperate to make some money online and could therefore fall prey to such scammers. This is the second time the youthful influencer has tried to sell a similar concept to his followers. Unfortunately, in the first instance, he was able to make hundreds of thousands of shillings from followers who signed up hoping to get rich quickly.