Debate among Wikipedia editors on classifying NFTs as art works
- A group of editors on Wikipedia have voted against categorizing NFTs as works of art
- The editors postponed the discussion due to unavailability of reliable information
- NFTs are digital forms of artworks that are saved on the blockchain networks
A group of editors on Wikipedia have voted against categorizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as works of art. The issue has been postponed to be discussed later due to a lack of reliable information. In December 2021, a debate started off on the free user-generated encyclopedia on the subject of “the most expensive art sales by living artists” and whether NFT art sales should be deemed as “art sales” or “NFT sales”. Wikipedia has a large array of editors as it is a free online website that allows anyone to edit it.
“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. NFTs have their own list, which should be linked in the article, and entries generally shouldn't be listed in both,” editor “Jonas” wrote.
NFTs are digital forms of artworks, music, sports moments, and video games among other things that are saved on the blockchain networks.
Most of the discussion revolved around whether an NFT represents the art or it is just a simple token that is separate from the underlying art. The editors felt that there was an unavailability of reliable information and definitions to conclude from.
A call for votes resulted in five editors against the inclusion of NFTs in art sales and just one in support. It was decided on January 12 to remove sales such as Pak’s NFT collection that raised $91 million and Beeple’s $69 million NFT from the top art sales chart and reopen the debate at a later date.
The decision seems controversial when looking at Beeple’s NFT “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” which represents a collage of original artworks from a renowned digital artist that sold at the famous Christie’s art auction house last year in March. The New York Times also featured Beeple as the “third highest-selling artist” at the time.
As per the Wikipedia guidelines, to reach a conclusion the consensus must factor in all participating editor’s legitimate concerns that fall within its policies.