What Is the “R” Word on TikTok?

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Written by: Alex Popa


What Is the “R” Word on TikTok?

You might have noticed an increasing awareness on TikTok about the “R-Slur” or the “R Word“. People are getting antsy and worried about the heavy usage of this word on TikTok.

But what is the R-Slur or the R-word? It’s “retarded” or “retard”. That’s the R-Slur that TikTok users have used more often.

Many social campaigns have appeared, trying to halt the spread of the R-Slur on TikTok and other social media platforms.

So far, not much has been achieved because people like their insults. If you want to know more about this debate on the R-word on TikTok, keep reading!

What Is the "R" Word on TikTok?

Why Is the R-Slur Bad on TikTok?

Calling someone “retarded” is offensive and demeaning to disabled people, who are the actual “retarded” ones.

So, when two users call each other “retarded” on TikTok, they don’t realize that disabled people may feel excluded and insulted by their use of the word.

Currently, “retarded” is being used on TikTok to describe someone as being dumb, stupid, idiotic, or someone who says something dumb.

So, it doesn’t refer to someone as being intellectually or physically disabled in the literal sense. It does not convey an insulting meaning toward genuinely disabled people.

It is simply “a way of saying things“, like many other words and expressions used casually by people when talking to one another.

A word may have originally meant something or was used a certain way, but the present use of the word is also important, especially when given a specific context. How are TikTok users using it at present?

Most of them don’t refer to someone being disabled intellectually or physically. They refer to them as being dumb and unintelligent or stupid.

Moreover, their intention is most likely not to attack genuinely disabled people either.

Should People Stop Using the R-Word on TikTok?

I’m not saying people should use or not use the R-word on TikTok. It’s up to them whether they use it or not.

However, think of it like this – what’s the actual harm this causes? Who’s the one feeling offended over a random TikTok user using the word “retarded” when addressing someone else?

Is it reasonable for a genuinely disabled person to feel offended over using the R-word between TikTok users?

According to many social justice movements, the R-word is very offensive, and people using it are thinking things through.

They should stop using it to prevent genuinely disabled people from being excluded and from feeling offended.

Regular TikTok users who use the term don’t mean any harm by using it. They’re simply engaging in casual banter, and insults are a big part of that.

Whether it’s “stupid“, “dumb“, “moron“, “cretin“, “idiot,” or “retard“, they should all be fair game, according to what I’ve read on forums.

It does seem like a violation of free speech that people are trying to “ban” the use of the word “retard” or “retarded“.

Being offended by these kinds of things is more of a choice than an instinctual reaction.


To summarize, the R-Slur on TikTok refers to “retarded” or “retard” when used as an insult among TikTok users.

Everyone and their grandma is trying to ban this word from TikTok and other social media platforms because it may be offensive to genuinely disabled people.

There’s a growing realization that the R slur is gaining traction and is being normalized on TikTok, which is why many are trying to fight against it.

Such words should not be normalized, according to them. They are offensive toward a discriminated part of society.

That’s a matter of debate but if you have any further questions about this, feel free to comment below!

Do disabled people feel offended over the R-Slur on TikTok?

I don’t know. But if there’s a silver lining to this debate, the ones crying wolf are generally not disabled people.

It’s the healthy ones complaining that words are offensive to someone else. Even if those people may, in fact, not feel offended.

Can you feel offended in someone’s stead? Shouldn’t the actual “target” of the insult manifest their displeasure and distaste for it?

So far, I haven’t seen any genuinely disabled people feeling offended over the R-Slur on TikTok.

But this doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If they are there, are they trying to ban the R-Slur, or are they ignoring it?

I couldn’t tell you. But one thing is clear – the debate around the R-Slur on TikTok is still going strong!

Should people feel offended over the R-Slur on TikTok?

Maybe, maybe not. Everyone has a right to be offended by anything. That’s not a matter of debate, I think.

It is a matter of debate whether we should invade some people’s free speech rights to protect the right not to be offended by others.

Is there a right not to be offended? Should we care about it enough, so we limit free speech?

How do we quantify the amount of “damage” an offended person has dealt with following an insult?

And did the actual insult cause that damage, or were there other factors at play that matter much more?

That’s for you to decide!

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Alex Popa

My name is Alex and I have a knack for social media in all its shapes and forms. I’ve dealt with such things for quite some time and I noticed that many people have issues with social media and technicalities.

Unforeseen errors, bugs, and other problems make their use of social media problematic. These things will be discussed amply in the guides on Whizcase.

I'll present the facts as they are, and offer quick and easy solutions for them.

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