PA cancels NFT sale of migrants floating in overcrowded boat in Mediterranean


The Associated Press on Thursday canceled a planned non-fungible token sale of a video of “migrants drifting in an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean” after backlash on Twitter to a post announcing it, with many deeming it distasteful.


The tweet garnered at least 227,000 views before the outlet deleted it, according to screenshot posted of the ad by Twitter users after it was deleted.

The AP intended to sell the video, along with other NFTs by AP photographer Felipe Dana, on its photojournalism NFT marketplace the following day.

The image in the tweet matches that of Dana on an AP image blog of refugees rescued off the coast of Libya in 2018.

An AP representative confirmed Forbes that the post has been removed and the image will not be auctioned, stating, “That was a poor choice of images for an NFT.”

Twitter users called the post “dystopian», « in extremely poor countries taste” and “hype the monetization of human suffering.

Dana did not immediately respond to Forbes‘ request for comment.

What we don’t know

It’s unclear if the video will still sell on AP’s NFT marketplace, but the sale was scheduled for Friday at 12 p.m.

Key context

The AP began turning its photos into NFTs last month, launching its marketplace through blockchain technology provider Xooa. In its statement announcing the deal, the nonprofit news organization said proceeds from sales “will go to funding factual and unbiased AP journalism.” The images currently available in the market are selling for up to $1,799 of the Ethereum cryptocurrency. NFTs are images stored on the blockchain, an encrypted ledger, which makes them unique to the owner.

crucial quote

“AP’s NFT Marketplace is a very early pilot program,” the outlet said. Forbes. “We are immediately reviewing our efforts.”

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