A group of editors of Wikipedia, the free user-generated encyclopedia, voted against classifying NFT as an art form and reached a consensus to postpone the issue to a later date.
An investigation and debate began on the platform at the end of December around the most expensive art sales by living artists and whether NFT art sales should be considered “art sales” or “NFT sales. “.
“Wikipedia really can’t decide what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler,” wrote the “jonas” editor.
Much of the discussion revolved around whether a DTV represented art, or whether it was just a separate token from the underlying art. Editors were torn over definitions and some felt there was a lack of reliable information to conclude.
A call for votes found five publishers opposed to including NFTs in art sales and only one in favor. Consensus was reached on January 12 to remove sales such as Pak’s $ 91 million NFT collection and Beeple’s $ 69 million NFT collection from the best-selling art list, and reopen the discussion at a later date.
The decision seems controversial when looking in particular at Beeple’s NFT “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, which features a collage of original artwork by a renowned digital artist sold at the prestigious auction house in Christie’s art auction last year in March. The New York Times also described Beeple as the “third best-selling artist” alive at the time.
According to Wikipedia guidelines, neither unanimity nor a vote is required to form a consensus. In making a decision, the consensus must take into account the legitimate concerns of all participating publishers that fall under the policies of the platform.
What do Wikipedia editors know anyway?
However, the consensus position did not go well with the only NFT supporting publisher “Pmmccurdy” arguing:
“How can we have a consensus when, from the start, I have been advocating for the inclusion of NFTs on this list. The overwhelming evidence from secondary sources places NFT art as an art and therefore worth including on this list. “
“If we agree that Beeple and Pak are artists, why don’t their sales count on this list?” I don’t understand the logic here, ”they added.
The “SiliconRed” editor responded that the consensus they were reading was, “NFTs should be removed from this list for now with the intention of reopening discussion at a later date. To my knowledge, that incorporates all concerns, including yours. ”
Related: Wiki contributors want to abandon cryptocurrency donations for environmental reasons
NFT supporters such as Nifty Gateway co-founder Griffin Cock Foster have been upset by the issue, noting on Twitter earlier today than:
“It’s pretty fucked up to see – Wikipedia mods try to say that * no * NFT can be art – like in, if it’s an NFT, it can’t be categorized as art.”
Foster’s twin brother Duncan also stepped in, calling it an ‘artistic emergency’ as he called the community to action via a post that was re-tweeted by Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss.
“Wikipedia works unprecedented. If NFTs are classified as “no art” on this page, then they will be classified as “no art” on the rest of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the global source of truth for many people around the world. The stakes couldn’t be higher! he said
Art Urgence !!
There is a debate on @ Wikipedia which has the potential to * officially classify NFTs as “no art” across Wikipedia. *
Wikipedia is a worldwide source of truth. To classify NFTs in the “no art” category would be a disaster!
– Duncan Cock Foster (@DCCockFoster) January 12, 2022
Everipedia, a decentralized Web3 equivalent of Wikipedia, responded to the platform by comparing its approach to NFTs and art:
“The editors of Everipedia have created more than 100 pages on #NFT collections while Wikipedia is set to mark NFTs as “no art” on their platform. It’s time for NFT projects to move to Everipedia $ IQ, a Web 3.0 encyclopedia that supports art and innovation.
This is not the first time Wikipedia has had issues with reporting crypto-related information. Cointelegraph reported in September 2020 that David Gerard, an anti-crypto activist and Wikipedia editor, helped remove an entry relating to Australian blockchain software company Power Ledger.
Gerard said the post was deleted on the grounds that “it was a bunch of press releases and the only real media coverage was about how Power Ledger was a scam,” although the entry is from from reputable publications such as TechCrunch and The Economic Fois.