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It seems as if every day, a new trend hits TikTok feeds and has the app’s millions of users attempting to create their own version of the viral craze … with the appropriate hashtag and sound selection, of course.
Know Your Meme via TikTok
But not all of these trends are good. In some cases, they can be dangerous or even illegal.
The newest hit is being dubbed the “devious licks” trend and involves students stealing supplies and items from schools, including everything from microscopes in classrooms to fire alarms to COVID tests.
One video in particular, posted by Oskar Augustin (@oskarsoskar), has been viewed over 4.7 million times and shows what appear to be hundreds of rapid COVID-19 tests that he presumably stole from his school. The text on the video claims “I won this trend.”
“At this point just kidnap the teachers,” one user commented on the video.
The trend has become incredibly alarming, forcing TikTok to issue a statement and begin the removal of videos that follow the trend.
“We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities,” a TikTok spokesperson told Insider. “We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”
TikTok account @KnowYourMeme broke down the origin of the trend in a detailed minute-long video.
The trend reportedly began on September 1 when TikTok user @jugg4elias posted a video of stolen face masks.
“Devious licks refers to a trend where TikTokers steal school equipment and flaunt it like trophies for all of TikTok to see,” the video states. “The devious licks trend is a successful yet diabolical trend that hinges on crime for success.”
Several schools across the country have also alerted parents and their communities about the ongoing trend.
Dr. Toni Zetzsche of River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Florida issued a statement via the school’s Facebook page.
“We are experiencing bathroom and school destruction that students are performing on Tik Tok and calling it a devious lick or just a ‘lick.’ A ‘lick’ on social media involves stealing, breaking or destroying school property. This is a damage trend that is happening in schools- students do not realize the impact of these decisions,” the message reads. “As a principal, I cannot fathom why students would want to destroy their own school (or any place really).”
The Parent Teacher Student Organization of Northwest High School in Greensoboro, North Carolina, also penned a message on its page, going so far as to explain that flex lunches had been taken away from students and that students will also now need to be escorted to use the restrooms due to theft and vandalism brought upon by the TikTok trend.
“Some will consider this extreme until you hear about the destruction in the school this week,” the post says. “Fire hydrants are being ripped off walls, students are wiping walls with fecal matter & sanitary items are being hung in restrooms. Students are stealing school property. We stand by the school and the custodial staff of 8 that are having to clean up after this behavior.”
As of Thursday afternoon, all videos with the #DeviousLicks hashtag had been removed, though it is still probable that there are videos remaining on the platform participating in the challenge without using the hashtag, like the one embedded earlier in this article.
TikTok did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.