Here's What Those "ACAB" Videos on TikTok Are All About

The acronym "ACAB" means "all cops are bastards," a term that has been used by the punk community on TikTok to promote liberal ideas.

Sara Belcher - Author

May 4 2020, Updated 3:43 p.m. ET

acab tiktok
Source: TikTok

If you browse TikTok long enough, you'll come across basically every trend and hashtag you can think of — and some you probably won't understand.

One of the hashtags going around on the app is "ACAB," usually accompanied by hardcore rock, dark makeup and clothing, and other far-left leaning sentiments. But what does "ACAB" mean?

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What does "ACAB" stand for?

The acronym "ACAB" stands for "all cops are b-----ds." On TikTok, it is mostly used by the punk community, though it's foundations are rooted in the anarchist movement. The community, which usually exhibits strong left-leaning opinions, frequently makes videos on the topic.

The term has also been seen as "1312," which stands for the numerical order the letters appear in the alphabet.

acab tiktok
Source: TikTok
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The Anti-Defamation League currently classifies "ACAB" as a hate acronym, due to its "long standing in the skinhead subculture."

"Because non-racist skinheads (including 'traditional' skinheads and anti-racist skinheads) may use this acronym as well as racist skinheads, it should be carefully judged in the context in which it appears," the league notes.

The punk community frequently makes videos on it.

Currently, most of the videos you'll find on TikTok with the hashtag "ACAB" will be from the punk community, who use it to promote their ideas or explain why they feel "ACAB."

A lot of the videos under the hashtag are also set to the sound "1312 by the casualties." Along with "ACAB," the videos usually also include other liberal slogans, like "F--k ICE," "F--k Trump," and "Eat the rich."

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Others in the punk community also joke that "ACAB" doesn't apply to certain officers — like Officer Judy Hopps from Zootopia or any of the dogs working on the police force.

Under the hashtag, there are countless videos explaining their beliefs.

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Police officers on TikTok also use the tag to make their own videos.

Just like TikTok has a thriving punk community, it also has a thriving police community, and the "ACAB" hashtag has not gone unnoticed by them.

Some police officers have used it as an opportunity to make jokes about how they feel about the term. A video originally posted by @voilet_magic_sin2 pictured the officer pretending to ignore someone out of his car window, while the sound of a woman yelling "Police! Help!" over and over played. "When they ask for help but are wearing a acab shirt," the text in the video reads.

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The video was reposted by the TikTok account @conservativehypehouse, and in the caption, the account claimed: "It's a joke."

The TikTok account @southernsherrif also posted a video under the "ACAB" hashtag, where he lip syncs to the lyrics, "I am aware that I am an a--hole. I really don't care about all of that though." Again, the video is captioned with the hashtag "issajoke."

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But the police officers' jokes are not usually well received by viewers on TikTok. Many comments point out that they feel the videos prove the point of ACAB.

"Proving their point but ok," one person commented on the video by @conservativehypehouse. "Lol ACAB, you're not helping someone (which is ur job) cuz of their beliefs? YIKES lol," another said.

Others just comment "ACAB" on videos of the officers. Clearly, their "jokes" aren't considered funny by most.

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