After Andhra police embarked on a frantic search for five teenagers who had gone missing from their homes in East Godavari district on Saturday, officials ultimately learned that the boys had left to create TikTok videos.
Five teens, between the ages of 15 and 18, had left home without informing their families in hopes of making money by creating TikTok videos. The boys took bikes, which they had been gifted by their parents, and drove over 150 kilometres without licenses to Mangalagiri hills. All the boys were found safe and returned to their parents.
Speaking to TNM, the District Superintendent of Police Amalapuram Shaik Masoom Basha said the five boys packed groceries and took off on bikes without telling their parents on Saturday. Four of the youth are from Nagarama village and one from Kakinada of East Godavari was traced through cell phone tower data in Mangalagiri.
"They wanted to create Tik Tok videos and generate revenue from the app. The boys planned to stay in the hills for a few weeks, create the videos and return back,â€ť said Masoom, â€ťThe parents filed a missing person complaint and we formed five teams to trace them. The boys are back with their parents," said the officer, who added that three of the boys were Class 10 students and two others had dropped out of school this year.
â€śWe advised the boys to focus on their studies and counselled the parents for gifting bikes to these boys. Since lockdown, a lot of people are spending their time creating TikTok videos and many now think they can earn money creating content and posting them on such apps,â€ť the DSP added.