The latest troubling TikTok trend, dubbed “Devious Licks” by teens and students, has been banned from the platform.
The clips first started to gain momentum earlier this month and typically feature the participant showing off items — ranging from wet floor signs to microscopes and projectors to paper towel holders — they allegedly stole from school. No matter the object though, it’s always described by the presenter as a devious or diabolical “lick,” depending on the scale of the theft.
According to a January update to Urban Dictionary, a “lick” refers to “a successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist.”
TikTok on Wednesday confirmed it is removing hashtags and redirecting searches related to the trend, citing a violation of its community guidelines.
“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 in a statement to Insider. “We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”
According to meme-tracker, knowyourmeme.com, the initial “devious lick video” was posted by @jugg4elias on Sept. 1. It features the poster pulling a box of disposable masks out of his backpack along with the caption: “A month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask.”
The clip raked in more than 239,000 views in a week, the database reported.
Just days later, a second user, @dtx.2cent, posted a video that shows him revealing a hand sanitizer dispenser that he’d allegedly snatched from school, according to Know Your Meme. That video reportedly earned 7.2 million views.
As of Thursday, both clips appear to have been scrubbed from the platform, though dozens upon dozens of copycats still remain live.
TikTok has made efforts to block trends that depict criminal activity as well as those that could lead to serious injury. The platform also recently removed hashtags and videos linked to the milk crate challenge, which typically featured people climbing pyramids made of milk crates and often falling as the structures topple.
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