After widespread twitter outcry, Associated Press has called off the sale of its latest NFT. The NFT was an image of the overcrowded migrant group holding a blow-up raft on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Call-Off Of The NFT Sale
The legendary news outlet originally planned to sell the NFT on February 25 through its official Twitter channel. However, the news media reversed its decision on the night of February 24 after heavy criticism from the social media space. AP has since deleted the tweet announcing the NFT sale.
Part of that tweet stated that “the AP photography NFT platform will drop by noon tomorrow. It features a video of migrants attempting to cling on an overcrowded ship on the Mediterranean.” AP’s intended NFT sale begged the question of when to draw the line between using journalism as a public service and profiting from it through any means possible. It is crucial to balance exposing human suffering for compassion or profiting from it.
Criticism Of The Legendary News Media
NBC sports’ MD, Micheal David Smith, opined that “the 145-year old news media is lost.” he further said, “AP journalists seem to have forgotten that the purpose of documenting human suffering is to inform the world and not profit from it through NFT sales.”
Molly White, a freelance web3.0 writer, opined that “if AP had any hopes of enjoying any goodwill from its NFT project, its decision to monetize this human suffering video just destroyed that hope.” White further said, “Apart from being a horrific NFT, the announcement was also ill-timed given the current bias of many Twitter feeds following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.”
An AP spokesperson, Lauren Easton, told the media that “the image choice for the NFT was poor and will never be used in any auction even if it’s not NFT.” Easton added that “our NFT platform is still at an initial stage, and we are modifying our policies right away.” “Since we are a not-for-profit organization, our primary focus remains the dissemination of unbiased and accurate news to the public,” she concluded.
Purpose Of Launching An NFT Platform
AP launched its NFT platform last month and tagged it away for “collectors to access AP’s archives for unique NFTs, including its award-winning images.” Since launch, the platform has sold several NFT pieces, with the least amount sold for $219, while its highest sale so far is $1.8k. AP has been receiving the proceeds from these sales.
The organization’s head of blockchain and data licensing, Dwayne Desaulniers, claimed that “AP’s photographers have the highest number of top stories illustrated with fascinating and touching photos anyone can relate with even till today.” Desaulniers further said, “we are closely monitoring the NFT space to identify emerging opportunities that can help us illustrate our photojournalism in the most beneficial way.” Despite the sharp growth of the NFT space, many continue to tag it as an avenue for fraudulent financial transactions operations.