Ross: Down the rabbit hole as TikTok challenges take on life of their own
You remember the TikTok bathroom vandalism challenge? It had the ominous code name “Devious Lick,” but it was just plain old vandalism: ripped-off soap dispensers, broken toilets, all documented by the culprits, which saved a lot of investigation.
When reporters showed up to ask the logical question regarding how damaging property was supposed to make kids more popular, they got the logical teenage response.
“It brings you the attention of your peers,” one kid answered.
That neatly summarizes the fundamental transaction that drives social media – we will make you famous, in exchange for your soul!
And so many people have signed that contract, it can’t be stopped, even by the social media companies themselves. As CBS’s Jaime Yuccas reported, “there is now a calendar of challenges circulating online nationwide.”
Yes! I’ve seen the list. But according to TikTok, the company is not responsible for the calendar itself.
That’s right — the challenge calendar didn’t come from TikTok! The list of supposed challenges – notice I am not repeating them – was revealed by a couple of websites I hadn’t heard of. That’s how out of control it is: Other websites are now manipulating TikTok! Unless … they’re Trojan horse sites secretly run by TikTok to provide plausible deniability.
Once again, down the rabbit hole we go.
Just remember, kids, you’re responsible for your conduct no matter what website put you up to it. And understand that the attention you get today will all show up at your confirmation hearing 20 years from now.
So, vandalize wisely.
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