What Does NSFW Mean and How Do You Use It Professionally

You might have come across videos on social media which have the thumbnail blurred out with the message NSFW. It is a commonly used term which has become common and even necessary for reasons which can be deemed not only professional but also legal in nature. In this post we will tell you all about what does NSFW mean and how do you use it professionally.

What Does NSFW Mean?

“Not Safe for Work” or NSFW is a commonly used term for content that is extreme. Such content is often labeled as 18+ and considered to be too extreme for viewing at the workplace, school or in social settings due to its graphic nature. The term NSFW itself is basically Internet slang and is commonly used for a video, audio, photo or webpage that is erotic, violent or can cause anxiety. This can include not only explicit imagery or videos but also content which might depict real life acts of violence, extreme sports, profanity or other types of content which may be deemed disturbing.

NSFW is not just limited to videos, audio content, photos or webpages. Its use can be a bit arbitrary at times and can even be extended to a PowerPoint presentation, digital forum or files shared digitally. Another similar term is Not Safe for Life (NSFL) which is often used for content which can be deemed emotionally jarring.

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How to Use NSFW Professionally

While you might think that NSFW is for frivolous reasons, this is not true. Many videos containing public service messages, medical advice or important business-related information can also be of NSFW nature. Below is an example of how to use NSFW professionally.

Public Service Messages

NSFW is commonly used for public service messages which show extreme content like car crashes and accidents. Sometimes, this is used by the official social media pages of the local traffic police to raise awareness about rash driving by depicting real accidents caused by driver negligence. Similarly, anti-smoking drives also might contain an NSFW sign due to depiction of smoking or patients who have suffered deformities due to a medical procedure which became necessary due to cancer or other illness caused due to smoking.

Informative Content

Many informative videos might require an NSFW sign. For example, these might include videos or photos based on natural disasters, wars or historical facts with graphic imagery related to human suffering. Similarly, animal rights videos might need to be marked NSFW due to animal cruelty depicted in the videos.

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Some brands use explicit advertisement or touch upon taboo topics by using NSFW to warn the viewer that the content they are about to see might be disturbing for some individuals. Depictions of extreme sports or imagery which might cause anxiety to some viewers might need to be marked as NSFW.

Social or Academic Discussions

Many non-profit organizations, government departments working on social issues and community groups might use NSFW for discussions based on topics which might be associated with addiction, abuse, exploitation or violence.

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How to Mark NSFW Content

There are a number of ways you can mark your content as NSFW. Below are a few examples of how to do it professionally.

On Social Media

Many social media websites like Facebook and YouTube allow marking content according to age. This includes anything from Facebook pages to uploaded videos. You can use the age filter by selecting the content rating. For example, Adult, 18+ or an R rating would be equivalent to NSFW.

On a Website

You can also mark NSFW for pages, videos and photos on your website which might fall in this category. The user can be shown a warning and might need to click to confirm that he/she is above 18 or agrees with the terms and conditions, acknowledging that they understand the type of content that is about to be showed. This can also help companies avoid legal issues, since showing such content without user consent or a warning might not be legal in some countries. This is especially the case when children might be at risk of being exposed to disturbing content.

During Professional Correspondence

It might be possible that during a professional correspondence, such as email, you might need to share content which might need an NSFW warning. For example, if you are a medical professional telling your client about the risks associated with a surgery, you might need to share a video containing graphic details of the surgery or perhaps illustrations and pictures which might be deemed potentially disturbing.

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Conclusion

NSFW is many times used for frivolous reasons or to share content which is generally deemed as inappropriate. However, this is not always the case, as many webpages, videos or audio messages created for corporate advertisement or to raise awareness, might need to be rated as NSFW as a rule. Failure to do so might even result in the content being blocked, banned or blacklisted on social media or by search engine filters.

About Farshad

Farshad is a Tech Blogger from Pakistan who has worked for numerous international Technology Blogs. He is a former systems engineer and has been associated with the IT industry for the past 8 years, rendering professional services related to desktop administration, networking, SEO and Blogging.

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