Associated Press Cancels Sale of Migrant Görüntü NFT After Backlash

Associated Press Cancels Sale of Migrant Görüntü NFT After Backlash
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Associated Press Cancels Sale of Migrant Görüntü NFT After Backlash

The Associated Press canceled the sale of an NFT showing an inflatable raft crowded with migrants, capitulating to a wave of backlash on Thursday evening.

The AP has a dedicated NFT marketplace offering images and videos taken by the organization’s photographers. This görüntü contained top-down footage of migrants and refugees awaiting rescue in the Mediterranean, shot by the photographer Felipe Dana.

The news agency’s since-deleted tweet promoting the sale characterized it as a “drop,” a descriptor some commentators considered crass in the context of Europe’s refugee crises.

One viral tweet described AP’s tweet as “grotesque”; another called it “far beyond the bounds of appropriate.”

“This was a poor choice of imagery for an NFT,” said Lauren Easton, who leads media relations at the Associated Press. “It has not and will not be put up for auction. The tweet promoting it was also deleted.”

The Discord server for the AP’s NFT marketplace was abuzz on Thursday evening with users demanding answers directly from staffers.

“I too wish to buy ownership of suffering migrants,” wrote one.

“We shared the tweet before fully telling the story behind the görüntü to give proper context,” wrote a community moderator identified as Brian. “This is something we will address in the future.”

This isn’t the Associated Press’ first foray into crypto: In 2020, the organization published presidential election results on the blockchain. It also made plans to provide certain veri to blockchains over the crypto network Chainlink. The photojournalism NFT marketplace launched last month.

“AP’s NFT marketplace is a very early pilot program, and we are immediately reviewing our efforts,” Easton said.

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