A group of Wikipedia editors voted against classifying non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as art. A report unveiled this news earlier today, noting that the editors reached an agreement to postpone this issue. This news comes after a survey and debate about the most expensive art sales by living artists and whether NFT sales should be considered art sales.
According to an Editor going by Jonas,
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.
The discussions revolved around whether NFTs represent art or if they are simply tokens that are separate from the associated art. Reportedly, the editors had varying sentiments, with some feeling that there isn’t enough information to conclude which category NFTs fall under.
In the long run, the editors ended up voting against classifying NFTs as art and including their sales under art. Out of the six editors that cast votes, only one supported categorizing NFTs as art.
On January 12, the editors reached a consensus to remove NFT sales like Pak’s NFT collection, which sold for $91 million, and Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days, which fetched $69.3 million, from the list of top art sales. The editors also agreed to re-open the discussion at a later undefined date.
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A contentious issue
Notably, Wikipedia’s guidelines, dictate that neither unanimity nor a vote is required to form a consensus. To reach a decision, the agreement must factor in all participating editor’s legitimate concerns that fall within the platform’s policies.
However, news of reaching a consensus did not sit well with Pmmccurdy, the editor that supported categorizing NFTs as art. The editor asked why Beeple’s and Pak’s work should not be categorized as an art considering all editors agree the two individuals are artists.
How can we have a consensus when, from the start, I have argued in support of including NFTs on this list. The overwhelming evidence from secondary sources places NFT art as art and thus worthy of inclusion on this list.
Another editor going by SiliconRed responded, saying the consensus was agreeing to remove NFTs from the list of top art sales for now with plans to re-open discussions at a later date. The editor added that this decision includes all concerns, including Pmmccurdy’s.
A disaster in the making
NFT enthusiasts, including Nifty Gateway co-founders Griffin Cock Foster and his twin brother Duncan Cock Foster were quick to air their opinions on this issue.
Duncan tweeted that Wikipedia is the global source of truth. As such, its decision to delist NFTs from the page containing the list of top art sales would reflect on the rest of Wikipedia, meaning the stakes are even higher. He added that Wikipedia categorizing NFT as anything apart from art would be disastrous.
Everipedia, the web3 equivalent of Wikipedia, said its approach to art and innovation is better than Wikipedia, suggesting that it is time for NFT projects to shift to its platform.