The social network TikTok is reportedly in hot water once again, as it is used as a platform for young store thieves to brag about their shoplifting and teach their techniques to avoid getting caught.
“Massive borrowing [en magasin]. Total: $222,” we can read in a video posted on the platform in April, in which the alleged thief shows numerous pieces of clothing and aesthetic products that she allegedly took from a store.
On TikTok, young thieves reportedly use the term “borrowing” to replace “steal,” so that they can freely brag about their shoplifting and share certain techniques with other Internet users without the videos being be withdrawn, reported “The Sun” on Sunday.
“How did you manage to take the clothes?” can we read in a comment under the same video, to which a second Internet user suggested hiding the products in your bra or pants.
Other videos would instead present the stores to target and those to avoid, according to the British media.
While the use of the word “borrowing” is not new – some videos providing advice for a successful theft date as far back as 2020 on TikTok – the trend is said to have returned in force in recent months, when a video viral even suggested a group shoplifting last month on a popular shopping street in London, United Kingdom.
“It is very difficult to moderate the large number of posts uploaded to these platforms. It’s a constant game of hitting. If the phrase ‘borrow’ is removed, something else will take its place,” British technology expert Will Guyatt told The Sun.
In his opinion, social networks should, however, put in place a “simpler way for the police to interact with social networks”, he said.
Contacted by the British media, TikTok would have simply removed the few videos pointed out, indicating that it would not “allow content that promotes criminal activity”.
Shoplifting is estimated to cost British merchants the equivalent of more than 950 million pounds sterling, or the equivalent of more than $1.6 billion, according to “The Sun.”