Not Safe For Work (NSFW)

Definition - What does Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mean?

Not Safe for Work is a phrase used to flag online content that is unsuitable for viewing in public spaces, such as the workplace. It’s thought to be coined by the social news website Fark, who used the phrase in a headline in 2000.

Not Suitable For Work is a common variation of Not Safe for Work. Both terms are often shortened to the acronym NSFW. This acronym is commonly seen in the title of online articles or links to other websites containing graphic images or content to alert readers of what is to come.

Kinkly explains Not Safe For Work (NSFW)

The term Not Safe for Work and its acronym can be used to flag content in a variety of online mediums including emails, discussion forums, videos, and websites.

A variety of content may be deemed Not Safe for Work, including pornography and content with offensive language and violence. It can be difficult for content creators to decide whether something should be flagged Not Safe for Work or not, as what is offensive or controversial varies from person to person.

Viewing Not Safe for Work content may violate the guidelines of some workplaces and schools. If it does, you could find yourself disciplined or even fired for viewing this content, even if by accident. You may also face some disciplinary measures, even if there is no formal policy forbidding accessing Not Safe for Work content in place. People may also feel ashamed or embarrassed if their colleagues or bosses see them viewing Not Safe for Work content in the office.

People also take heed of Not Safe for Work warnings when they're outside the workplace to minimize embarrassment. For example, someone might decide not to click on a Not Safe for Work link when they're using public transport or at home with their children.

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