What does NSFW actually mean?

I think that most people are aware of the fact that NSFW is an acronym for “Not Safe For Work.” Unfortunately, it seems as though there are a lot of people who think that the NSFW tag should only used for nudity or excessive violence / gore.

The first thing that you need to understand is that it doesn’t necessarily apply to a place of work. In reality, the tag applies to any place or situation where another person could take a quick glance at your computer screen. For example: It can also apply to a person that is using a computer at a local library, or somebody that is browsing their smart phone on a crowded subway. In both situations, you don’t want to be caught looking at NSFW content.

The second thing that you need to understand is that those who take a cursory glance at your computer screen will probably not understand the context of the content that you are looking at. For example: You’re watching a funny video of a girl falling off a boat. “Hilarious stuff”, you think. “I should show this to all of my friends!” Unfortunately for you, the person beside you on the subway decides to glance at your iPad the moment that the video is showing a close-up shot of the girl in question, in a bikini, with her friends, who are also in bikinis – Oh, and this is during the part of video where the camera man is quirting them with a water gun, just so it looks like some sort of impromptu wet t-shirt contest.

The person didn’t see the title of the link that you clicked on and that person doesn’t know what the video is about. You dirty dog.

Unfair? Yes. Unrealistic? Not at all.

In conclusion: A NSFW tag can act as a warning to those who are in a setting where the content they are viewing could be taken out of context. It doesn’t matter how innocent it is. The only thing that matters is what it might look like to those around you.

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