Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Associated Press Wanted to Sell an NFT of Video of Migrants Adrift at Sea

Molly White, in her excellent Web3 is Going Just Great project:

However, on February 24 they announced that their newest NFT would show a short, top-down video of around fifty migrants crammed into a small inflatable boat, adrift at sea in the Mediterranean. Any goodwill the AP might have had for their NFT project was likely shattered by their choice to monetize a video of human suffering. The already horrific NFT announcement was particularly ill-timed, given its juxtaposition on many Twitter feeds amongst news of Russian military action against Ukraine. The Associated Press deleted the announcement tweet four hours later.

When I first saw a screenshot of this tweeted by Rob Sheridan, I could barely believe it was real, but it was. The AP really decided it would be a fantastic idea to sell the ownership — in whatever bizarre way an NFT constitutes “ownership” — of a video of migrants escaping their homeland.

The Associated Press:

We deleted an earlier tweet promoting an upcoming NFT auction. This was a poor choice of imagery for an NFT. It has not and will not be put up for auction.

No shit. Consider that at least a few people were surely involved in this process: someone to operate the NFT auction, a social media person to write the tweet, and some managers along the way. This is a clearly terrible idea that somehow sailed through the approvals process because, I guess, the lure of NFTs is simply too good to second-guess the humanity of the situation.