Long time readers know my views on the stupid NSFW flag that too often accompanies any link to adult material on the American bits of the internet. I was delighted yesterday (after linking to Susie Bright) to discover that she’s written a long and thoughtful rant against NSFW nonsense. My favorite bit:

NSFW has no meaning in print— in paper journalism or publishing. It has no place in a newsroom or the bookstore. It only exists on the Internet— which is ironically notorious for its libertarianism. NSFW, whoever dreamed it up, is a Bowdlerization of the Web, a Scarlet Letter. It exists because fearful people believe in it, like a bad fairy. It says more about the psychological fears and prejudices of the person using it, than it does about the content in question. Why do web authors put up with it?

The “W” in NSFW seems to imply that the “workplace” is an environment where all must be defended against impropriety and loss of efficiency. But surely clock-watching bosses have noticed that employees can just as easily daydream about online seed catalogs as they can about porn.

If said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no such thing as a website that’s not safe for work. There’s only work that’s not safe for web surfing. And if that’s the kind of work you have, you need better work, not more NSFW ghetto badges to sew on the links that will get you into workplace trouble.