‘Emergency’: Wikipedia Editors Vote Against Classifying NFTs as Art

‘Emergency’: Wikipedia Editors Vote Against Classifying NFTs as Art
Photo by Luke Chesser / Unsplash

An erudition of editors on Wikipedia—a free user-generated encyclopedia—decided against designating nonfungible tokens (NFT) as a form of art and agreed to put the matter on hold until later.

At the end of December, a poll and discussion on the platform centered on the priciest art sales by living artists, as well as whether nonfungible tokenized (NFT) art sales should be classified as "art sales" or "NFT sales."

According to Jonas, an editor on the encyclopedia,

"Wikipedia really can't be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler."

Much of the debate focused on whether an NFT reflected the art or was only a token apart from the underlying art. The editors were split on the definitions, with some believing that there was a lack of credible data to draw conclusions.

In a poll, five editors said they were against adding NFTs in art sales, while only one said they were in favor. So on Wednesday, a decision was reached to remove sales like Pak's $91 million NFT collection and Beeple's $69 million NFT off the top art sales list and revive the debate at a later date.

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When looking at Beeple's "Everyday: The First 5000 Days" NFT, which exhibits a collage of unique artworks from a known digital artist and sold at the prominent Christie's art auction house last year in March, the decision appears debatable. However, Beeple was also dubbed the "third highest-selling artist" alive at the time by the New York Times.

According to Wikipedia's standards, a consensus does not require unanimity or a vote. Instead, the group must consider that all reasonable issues raised by participating editors conform with the platform's regulations to reach a judgment.

However, this consensus does not augur well with some recognized figures in the NFT world. For example, Duncan Cock Foster, twin brother to Nifty Gateway's co-founder, labels this development as an "Art Emergency."

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