Not safe for work

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For the film, see Not Safe for Work (film). For the television series, see Not Safe for Work (TV series).
"NSFW" redirects here. For other uses, see NSFW (disambiguation).

Not suitable/safe for work (NSFW) is Internet slang or shorthand. Typically, the NSFW tag is used in e-mail, videos, and on interactive discussion areas (such as Internet forums, blogs, or community websites) to mark URLs or hyperlinks which contain material such as nudity, pornography, or profanity, which the viewer may not want to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as in a workplace.

Determining a site to be NSFW is invariably subjective[citation needed], and poses challenges for academics who study sexuality.[1] The difficulty in identifying such content objectively has led to the creation of online tools to help individuals to identify NSFW content:

NSFW has particular relevance for individuals making personal use of the Internet at workplaces or schools which have policies prohibiting (even inadvertent) access to sexually provocative content.

On November 28, 2007, founder Drew Curtis filed an application[2] to trademark the phrase, but registration was denied.[3]

Conversely, the term Safe For Work, sometimes abbreviated to SFW, is used to label material that may have a questionable title or include subjects that could potentially be NSFW, but are not.


  1. ^ Attwood, Feona; I. Q. Hunter (October 2009). "Not safe for work? Teaching and researching the sexually explicit". Sexualities 12 (5): 547–557. doi:10.1177/1363460709340366. 
  2. ^ Wortham, Jenna (10 December 2010). "Fark 'NSFW' Trademark Bid All in Good Snark?". Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office