Connecticut Attorney General William Tong (D) has requested to meet with Tiktok CEO Shou Zi Chew over concerns of potential safety issues of a rising ‘Slap a Teacher’ Challenge trend and other impacts of Tiktok on Connecticut students.
In the letter that was addressed to Tiktok’s CEO, Attorney General Tong notes that a high school in New Britain, Connecticut recently had to shut down because of the “Devious Lick” trend on Tiktok. Educators in the school gave reports of “stolen school property, clogged toilets, and excessive vandalism” due to the challenge that was viral on the app in September. Tiktok has since removed “Devious Lick” content from its platform and Tong commends the company for that in his letter.
However, Attorney General Tong is calling upon Tiktok again because of the threat to educators with the rising “Slap a Teacher” Tiktok challenge. According to an article by The Hill, this dangerous challenge was set to begin in October, but does not seem to have caught on significantly. The challenge “involves a student calmly approaching a teacher and slapping them”. While attempts of this challenge have not yet been reported in Connecticut, parents in Lancaster County, South Carolina, were warned of an incident where an elementary student allegedly participated in the challenge, striking a teacher in the back of the head.
The Connecticut Attorney General ends the letter with a request for a detailed outline of the platform’s policies and procedures against misuse and abuse of content by Tiktok users and to “thoroughly analyze” why these measures are currently inadequate. He finally asks the CEO to meet with himself, educators and parents to hear first hand the effects the content on their app has on the youth of Connecticut. You can read the full letter below:
Choi, Joseph. “State AG seeks meeting with TikTok CEO over ‘Slap a Teacher’ challenge” The Hill, 04 October, 2021. https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/575273-state-ag-seeks-meeting-with-tiktok-ceo-over-slap-a-teacher-challenge?rl=1