The Associated Press tweeted Thursday morning promoting an NFT video of a ship full of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea, drawing strong condemnation for its insensitivity.
Twitter users strongly condemned it, calling it “beyond the realm of propriety”, “compassionate and hateful” and “making money from cruel human suffering”. This tweet has been live for several hours.
Behavioral scientist Caroline Orr Bueno wrote on Twitter: “The Associated Press has removed a tweet promoting an NFT, which certainly sounded like an attempt to monetize the plight of desperate migrants.
Following the backlash, the organization has removed the tweet and cancelled the planned sale.
“This was an inappropriate photo for an NFT,” an Associated Press spokesman told TheWrap late Thursday. Additionally, the AP’s NFT marketplace is yet in its early steps, and we are continuously analyzing our efforts. The Associated Press aims to offer accurate, and unbiased journalism to the world. “This is still our main worry.”
“This is so far over the limits of
appropriate,” wrote John Stanton, editor of The New Orleans Gambit. “How did this happen without a journalist saying anything?” Asked another journalist, SI Rosenbaum.
In January, the AP’s NFT marketplace was activated. One of the initial NFTs was a photo that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006. This photo shows a Jewish settler facing Israeli security personnel in the West Bank.