It’s back to school season and on TikTok, that means students are inexplicably stealing everything that isn’t bolted down.
The latest TikTok trend to generally wreak social havoc sees students pulling off “devious licks” — small-scale heists of everything from soap dispensers, Covid test kits and hand sanitizer to high value items like classroom tech.
The videos are set to an edited version of Lil B’s “Ski Ski BasedGod,” which had appeared in around 100,000 videos on TikTok by Monday, according to Mashable, with the tag #deviouslick collecting more than 175 million views.
TikTok cracked down on Wednesday, limiting search results for the viral stunt, removing videos with the tag and encouraging users to “please be kind” to teachers.
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
“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 TechCrunch. “We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”
While it’s hard to know which videos are staged and which are legitimate, the trend is real enough to have teachers and parents across the country stressed out. At a middle school in Las Vegas, school administrators report students swiping speed limit signs, fire alarms, soap dispensers and classroom projectors. And in Portland, Oregon at least one high school saw an entire building’s worth of soap dispensers go missing — not a great start to another school year in the throes of a global pandemic.