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Emergency: Wikipedia editors choose not to classify NFT as art

4 min reading

Wikipedia is deciding whether or not to put NFT in the art category.


A group of editors at Wikipedia, the free user-generated encyclopedia, voted against classifying NFT as an art form and reached a consensus to postpone publication at a later date. A survey and debate started on the platform in late December about the most expensive art sales by living artists and whether sales of NFT art should be considered “art sales” or “NFT sales”.

"Wikipedia really can't decide what is considered art or not, so putting NFT, art or not, on its own list makes it a lot easier," wrote editor Jonas. Much of the discussion centers on whether NFT is an art or just a separate symbol from the main art. Editors are divided by definitions, and some feel that there is no reliable information to draw conclusions from.

A call to a vote revealed that five editors were against the inclusion of NFT in the sale of art and only one was in favor. A consensus was reached on January 12 to remove sales such as Pak's $91 million NFT collection and the $69 million NFT Beeple collection from the best-selling art list and discussions about the next to discuss reopening. The decision seems controversial when you consider that NFT Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" features a collage of original artwork by a well-known digital artist that was sold at Christie's prestigious art auction house last March. The New York Times also described Beep as "the third best-selling artist" at the time.

According to Wikipedia's guidelines, neither unanimity nor a vote is required to reach consensus. To make a decision, the consensus must take into account any legitimate concerns of the participating editors that fall within the platform guidelines.

What do Wikipedia editors know?

However, the consensus position is not wrong with the only supporting editor of the NFT, Pmmccurdy, who claims:

“After advocating NFT from the start, how can we reach a consensus? Extensive evidence from secondary sources depicts NFT art as art and therefore deserves inclusion on this list." "If we can both agree that Beeple and Pak are artists, why not base their sales on this list?" I don't understand the logic here," they added.

The SiliconRed editor replied that the consensus was that “NFT should be removed from this list temporarily, with a view to continuing discussions at a later date. As far as I know, this includes all problems, including you." Disturbed by the issue, NFT supporter as Nifty Gateway co-founder Griffin Cock Foster noted the following on Twitter today:

"Quite confusing to look at - Wikipedia's modification tries to say that *no* NFT can be art - because if it is NFT, it can't be classified as art." Twin brother Foster Duncan was also involved, calling it an "art emergency" when he urged the public to act in a post retweeted by Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss. “Wikipedia follows precedent. If NFT is classified as “non-art” on this page, other Wikipedias classify it as “non-art”. Wikipedia is a global source of truth for many people around the world. t is higher!” he said.

Everipedia, the decentralized Web3 equivalent of Wikipedia, responded to the platform by comparing its approach to NFT and art:

"Everipedia's editors create more than 100 pages in the #NFT collection, while Wikipedia marks NFT as 'non-art' on its platform. It's time the NFT project moved to Everipedia $IQ, a web 3.0 encyclopedia that supports art and innovation.

This isn't the first time Wikipedia has had trouble reporting cryptocurrency-related information. Based on the report in September 2020 that anti-crypto activist and Wikipedia editor-in-chief David Gerard helped remove entries related to Australian blockchain software company Power Ledger. Gerard said the post was removed on the grounds that it was a press journalism group and that the only actual press coverage was that Power Ledger was a scam, even though the notes came from prominent publications such as TechCrunch and The Economic Times.

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