bill, if all this sounds like absolute nonsense to you, check out this article by our friends at Popular Science that explains the basics of NFTs, what they have to do with the blockchain and all those other complex details. We ’ rhenium chute straight into the meat of things here .
Remind me, AP NFTs?
last year, the AP auctioned off 10 “ artistic representations ” of some of its most celebrated photos as “ AP ARTiFACTS : The 175 Collection ”. It was obviously reasonably successful as in January this year the AP announced a new project to sell NFTs of actual photos and videos through a new “ AP Market ” .
Over the past few weeks, the AP has been releasing NFTs on a roll footing for between $ 219 and $ 1,799 in Ether, one of the most democratic cryptocurrencies. Things were going just fine until, in a now-deleted Tweet, the AP announced :
“ Tomorrow ’ s fell at noon eastern time on the AP Photography NFT Marketplace will feature video by @ felipedana of migrants drifting in an overcrowd gravy boat in the Mediterranean. ”
The Associated Press has deleted a tweet advertising an NFT that sure looked a whole distribute like an attack to make money off the pledge of despairing migrants. pic.twitter.com/mZXu8r6rhe— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) February 24, 2022
And for completely unsurprising reasons, the AP was facing a fortune of criticism .
The initial backlash
Let ’ s be clear, photography in general and photojournalism, in particular, have a batch of ethical considerations around accept and exploitation. The original video by Felipe Dana dramatically highlighted the pledge of migrants risking dangerous crossings in the Mediterranean. It was widely lauded and shared a few years ago for very good reasons .
However—selling an NFT is not the lapp as using a newsworthy video to document an ongoing crisis. While the AP is a non-profit and says it will use any money generated by the project to support journalism, XOOA ( the marketplace used ) is for-profit and stood to make money from the sale. furthermore, whoever bought the NFT was obviously doing indeed in the hope that it would increase in value .
The situation, as editors and journalists were quick to point out on Twitter, was ethically doubtful .
A few hours belated, the AP deleted the announcement and said they were pulling the NFT from sale .
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AP ’ s NFT marketplace is a fender plan, and we are immediately reviewing our efforts. As a nonprofit organization, AP ’ randomness mission is to inform the world with accurate, indifferent journalism. That remains our primary focus .— The Associated Press (@AssociatedPress) February 25, 2022
The Discord debacle
Things took an even eldritch turn the adjacent sidereal day. Like most crypto projects, the AP NFTs had a public Discord channel ( operated by XOOA ). I say “ had ” because it appears to have been taken down. I can ’ metric ton entree it today, and the connection on the AP Market web site is dead .
Associated Press staff in the AP ’ s official Discord, following their pinch offer to sell NFTs of a video of migrants in a boat at sea :
“ All photographers are consulted and are active participants in the project, ” adds that it funds the AP ’ s journalism, photographer gets a cut. pic.twitter.com/kh1Q4Hw31I
Read more: Mania For Trading Cards Causes Issues
— Tony Webster (@webster) February 25, 2022
A lot of people had questions about how the AP was choosing NFTs, if the photographers approved ( they did and got between 12 % and 60 % of the sale in cryptocurrency ), and what the whole point of the project was .
Staff extremity for the AP ’ s NFT market game partner says they will not proceed with selling NFTs of the migrant video. AP staff member responds to my questions : “ The NFT was selected for an approaching dismiss, but never minted. We are listening to all the feedback we are receiving. ” pic.twitter.com/8ErtdeU9B3— Tony Webster (@webster) February 25, 2022
Journalist Tony Webster was in the Discord and has a great thread sharing screenshots of the reaction from AP ’ s official representatives, including its Director of Blockchain and Data, Dwayne Desaulniers .
“ I ‘m pretty devastated that we seem to have damaged our make to date with our planned use of the rescue video, ” says Dwayne Desaulniers, the AP ’ s Director of Blockchain & Data, in a public Discord old world chat. “ I ‘m the team extremity accountable for that decision. ” pic.twitter.com/C1o9lkWWkg— Tony Webster (@webster) February 25, 2022
Things don ’ triiodothyronine appear to have gone the way the AP would have hoped, though. Commenters weren ’ t particularly satisfied with any of the answers the AP was prepared to give .
person asks if the AP ’ s NFT plans hurt the mind that AP journalists work in the populace interest. They ‘d be discouraged from being photographed if they knew their image might be turned into a private commodity. The AP ‘s answer ( Dwayne in screenshots ) is n’t satisfying them. pic.twitter.com/lfl7XXdwCh— Tony Webster (@webster) February 25, 2022
sol what else was the organization to do but torch things ?
Yep, the AP started by deleting messages, banning users, and, apparently, pulling the plug on the solid populace Discord server .
I am a journalist and, while it ‘s not very my primary duty, I do shroud crypto topics.
I ‘d expect to be banned from a rando crypto undertaking ‘s Discord ( and tbf, the waiter was n’t specific to AP ) but it is pretty funny to be banned for documenting discussion about journalism.
— Eric Ravenscraft (@LordRavenscraft) February 25, 2022
So what happens next?
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AP ’ s NFT market is a fender course of study, and we are immediately reviewing our efforts. As a nonprofit organization, AP ’ randomness mission is to inform the worldly concern with accurate, unbiased journalism. That remains our basal stress .— The Associated Press (@AssociatedPress) February 25, 2022
To be honest, we don ’ triiodothyronine know. The AP said in a pinch that the NFT market was a “ navigate program ” and that they would be “ immediately reviewing our efforts ”. I ’ thousand subscribed to the program ’ s mailing number and, so far, haven ’ triiodothyronine received any announcement of this week ’ south drops .
But whatever happens future, it ’ mho net that the AP ’ mho NFT course of study international relations and security network ’ t precisely the success it would have hoped for .