What You Really Should Know About Reddit's NSFW Content

Read this before checking out the NSFW subreddit

NSFW

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Tumblr and Twitter are two of the biggest social networks where sexually explicit NSFW content tends to flourish freely if you look around hard enough for it, but nothing really compares to Reddit and its very NSFW subreddit. 

The main NSFW subreddit, which is the post popular one and is also commonly referred to as “Reddit Gone Wild,” generates quite a significant amount of traffic for the social network and has become a go-to place for individuals who want to express themselves and discover adult content. But before you decide to visit and/or participate in this subreddit or any of the many other related NSFW subreddits, there are a few things worth knowing first.

What Exactly Is 'NSFW' Content?

“NSFW” is an acronym that is short for “Not Safe For Work.” This is a common internet acronym typically used to describe content that would generally not be appropriate to view at work in the presence of coworkers, your boss or even family members when you’re at home.

NSFW content is often pornographic or sexual content, but it can also be violent, graphic or controversial. People use the acronym by adding it to their email subject lines, links shared on Facebook, tweets on Twitter or any other type of message meant to serve as a warning that you shouldn’t be opening the link to view the content when you’re in the presence of others.

The NSFW warning is what people use to inform other people of the type of content they're about to view so they can avoid getting in trouble at work or being embarrassed in front of their families when their computer or device screen is in full view. On Reddit, however, just visiting the /r/nsfw subreddit might fill your computer or mobile device screen with thumbnails of adult content (depending on the list view you choose).

You Must Be 18 Years of Age or Older

The content that is posted on the NSFW section of Reddit is not at all appropriate for underage individuals. Before you can view the content of this section, Reddit will ask if you are at least 18 years old. You can click “yes” to enter the site or “no” to leave.

Since it's illegal in the United States and many other countries to knowingly distribute sexual content to minors, sites displaying any type of NSFW content will almost always ask your age before allowing you to enter. Reddit is no exception to the rule.

NSFW versus SFW

The NSFW trend is pretty easy to understand once you see it used in out in the wild. On the other end of the spectrum, if a link or post is labeled to be “SFW,” then it’s “Safe For Work" and is sometimes useful to include if you're sending content to someone who might be skeptical about it. A "SFW" label informs them that they don’t have to take caution before opening it.

Other variations of the phrase include:

  • PNSFW - Probably Not Safe For Work
  • LSFW - Less Safe For Work
  • TSWF - Technically Safe For Work
  • PNFO - Probably Not For the Office

Believe it or not, Drew Curtis (founder of Fark.com) tried to trademark the phrase “NSFW” in 2007 but was denied registration.

The Popularity of the NSFW Subreddit and Related Subreddits

RedditList.com is a popular Reddit resource that lists all the category lists from most popular to least popular. When you click on any category, you’re taken to Reddit.com and the corresponding category.

The "AskReddit" or “Funny” subreddit often holds the first or second spot, with the NSFW subreddit usually found somewhere in the top 100. As of this writing, the main NSFW subreddit has 1.1 million subscribers. You can also switch to the NSFW tab at the top to see all the different NSFW subreddits.

Reddit Rules and Reddit’s NSFW Subreddit

When using Reddit, you’re advised not to post anything that's illegal, involuntarily pornographic, violent, threatening, harassing, misleading as impersonation, or considered to be spam. Posting personal information is also forbidden and solicitation of votes are prohibited.

Here's what Reddit has to say about its NSFW content:

"Content that contains nudity, pornography, or profanity, which a reasonable viewer may not want to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as in a workplace should be tagged as NSFW. This tag can be applied to individual pieces of content or to entire communities."

Posting NSFW Content on Reddit

Using Reddit isn’t difficult at all, and if you choose to post your own NSFW content in any of the corresponding NSFW subreddits, that's totally up to you — just know that your content will be online forever after you've put it out there.

If you choose to post NSFW content, make sure you do it in the appropriate NSFW subreddit. NSFW content will be removed from other subreddits and your account could even be temporarily or permanently suspended.