#DeviousLick: The TikTok Trend That Has Left Students in Handcuffs

Ximena Solorzano, Photographer

TikTok has been the birthplace of many recent dangerous trends on the internet. The Devious Lick trend, however, has left many in shock and others facing charges of vandalism and theft of school property. 

 

The trend originated when a TikTok user under the handle @jugg4elias posted a video of themselves on September 1st, claiming to have stolen a box of disposable masks and captioning the video “A month into school…absolutely devious lick” according to NJ.com. The video had garnered over 345,800 views before it’s removal from the platform on September 13th. In the following days after this post, hundreds and thousands of users participated in the challenge by breaking soap dispensers and toilet paper holders off the walls, along with stealing soap bags and hand sanitizers. Other participants were more extreme as they stole entire toilets, fire extinguishers, and additional school property such as classroom phones. Even light fixtures and mirrors have been broken as a result of the trend.

 

Various users are now encountering the repercussions from uploading these videos onto the platform. 8 students in Boone County Kentucky face charges — 4 for vandalism and 4 for theft. Others in Florida, Texas, Virginia, and Arizona have also been arrested on similar charges. To DHS parent, Daysi Castillo, the punishments are appropriate for the circumstances. “What they did was quite literally a crime,” Castillo stated. “Breaking school property and damaging it is something not to be taken lightly hence the appropriate measures were taken.”

 

When asked about what has driven students into committing these acts, sophomore Isabella Lopez revealed that the quick 15 minutes of fame is what hooks in the young individuals. “What I think has driven students to participate in these challenges is the attention that they will get if they were to participate and post,” Lopez stated. “When people post these videos of the devious lick challenge, they get likes. Those likes will motivate them and more people to participate in the challenge.”

 

Despite the official removal from the platform, #DeviousLicks have still managed to continue on, just in other forms of media. Reported by USAToday, users have switch over to hashtags like #dispicablelicks, and even with the simple search of “licks” on the site, hundreds of videos are still easily accessible to students who know what to evade. Assistant Principal, Golder Fowler, believes that the actual removal of these videos from the platform is the way to prevent these damaging trends such as this one and many others like the Crate Challenge from gaining the traction. “If it is something like the Devious Lick Challenge, the platforms — whether it’s TikTok or Instagram or other sites — see something going on like that is obviously illegal, you immediately take them down” Fowler stated. “If there’s a way to prevent the upload of those videos and take them down as quickly as possible, that’s the best they can do.”

 

With all these crimes going, various users have done their part to help out the affected schools and restore restrooms in a counter trend #AngelicYields. As it involves donating products such as soup and hand sanitizer, and leaving gifts, often in the form of money, the hashtag has restored the faith in many while showing that despite the constant rise of trends like these, there is still some good in the world that can help us all.