NSFW: Not Safe For Work
This is both a warning to those in the workplace that what they’re reading is not for polite company and a warning to young people that the content is not for them.
It’s also an invention almost exclusively created for the Web. When things were in print parents wouldn’t have to worry as much about their children finding and being able to access a porn magazine, certainly not a whole store’s worth. But now, with few restrictions placed on Internet browsing and what websites can be accessed, there is an inherent danger of kids finding things they’re not supposed to. So when it comes to webcomics, how do you screen something like that?
Well in many ways, you can’t. At least not the PG-13 things. Many webcomics will self-identify the age group they’re appealing to, but that information isn’t always readily available on the site – usually it’s only shown through a hosting site that lists webcomics. And some of the R-rated websites will have no screening process either.
However, as a common courtesy rule of thumb, most webcomics rated R, especially ones that are pornographic in nature, will have a screening page.
It may not technically block people from accessing the site, but it let’s them know what they’re getting into. These sites will usually warn “NSFW” or “17+”, and if a parent knows how to screen Web access these will be words that alert any screening system.
No one can protect their children from everything on the Web, but those who produce content for the Web should help them try.