[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In response to viral videos encouraging students to damage school property, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to TikTok urging the company to take action to prevent destructive behavior from spreading on its platform. In a recent viral trend called “Devious Licks,” students have filmed themselves and others clogging toilets and sinks, defacing bathrooms, and stealing and destroying school property such as fire alarms.
“You have a responsibility to delete videos, ban users, and restrict hashtags that glorify property damage and threats to school safety to prevent this destructive behavior from spreading,” Blumenthal wrote to TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew. “While TikTok has taken steps to remove these videos, these actions were too little, too late and do not make up for the damage to schools across the country.”
As chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, Blumenthal will hold a hearing in the coming weeks about the impact of social media on children and teens. In the letter, Blumenthal called for a TikTok representative to appear at the hearing to explain the platform’s policies, practices, and commitments to safeguard their young users. “I fully expect your company to participate, particularly in light of this alarming new trend,” Blumenthal said.
The full text of the letter can be found here.