Just a few weeks into the school year, students who fell for this trend have put up videos of stealing paper towel dispensers, soap, school furniture, SMART boards, laptops, “wet floor” signs, microscopes and even hand sanitiser dispensers.
Most of these videos are captioned with words such as “absolute sinister lick” or “hit the most despicable lick”.
A bathroom at my kid's middle school was closed today because the devious lick Tick Tock trend has kids stealing soap, sanitizer and tp dispensers 💀
— Andrew Dyer (@SDUTdyer) September 15, 2021
Worried by the criminal turn taken by this trend, TikTok urged students to stop stealing school equipment.
“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 said. “We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behaviour.”
The social media company has removed the hashtag #deviouslick and its spelling variants such as #deviouslicks. Searching for these terms leads the user to a page that indicates that the phrase may have content that violates TikTok’s community guidelines.
We expect our community to create responsibly - online and IRL. We're removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers. pic.twitter.com/mIFtsYwFRb
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 15, 2021
The thefts have prompted schools in the US to warn students and parents that they could face legal action for such crimes, according to the Insider.
The trend captured the attention of students and other TikTok users early this month. The audio related to the challenge has been used nearly 110,000 times. Millions of likes and views have poured in for the videos shared under the viral trend.
According to an Urban Dictionary entry from January, “lick” is defined as a “successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday”.
My TikTok feed is a bunch of kids hitting 'devious licks' by stealing vending machines, soap dispensers & signs from school. Someone even kidnapped their principal.. 🤣
— Truls Aandal (@ttrulss) September 11, 2021
my tiktok is a bunch of criminals “hitting devious licks 😈”
— Mathew Alexander (@xSojin) September 11, 2021
“Devious lick” is not the only trend to have taken a worrying turn recently.
Dangerous trends such as the blackout challenge, an asphyxiation dare, the dry scoop challenge (a person eats a dry scoop of pre-workout powder without diluting it with water) and the milk crate challenge have caused injuries and even deaths.