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The Associated Press cancelled the sale of an NFT sale of a migrant boat and called the decision "a poor choice."

On Thursday morning, the outlet promoted an NFT video on Twitter that showed an overcrowded ship of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea,

Felipe Dana, an AP photographer, shot the video itself.

According to The Wrap, he tagged Proactiva Open Arms (POA), a Spanish ocean rescue group, who also happened to share their footage of the crew voyaging out to the rescue.

The NFT received backlash, with many people thinking it was "grotesque" and "grossly wrong" that they would try to profit off a vulnerable moment.

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The tweet was up for several hours before it was deleted.

"I was thinking how else can this week be any worse. I should just remember never to challenge fate and capitalism. F****** hellish landscape," one wrote.

"This is absolutely disgusting, and @AP should be ashamed. F****** gross," another added.

A third wrote: "We NEED to be discussing the ethics of photo NFTs because the fact that this was even proposed is sickening."

Check out other responses below:


A representative for The AP told Indy100 that it was "a poor choice of imagery for an NFT" and will not be available for auction.

"The tweet promoting it was also deleted. AP’s NFT marketplace is a very early pilot program, and we are immediately reviewing our efforts. As a not-for-profit, AP’s mission is to inform the world with accurate, unbiased journalism. That remains our primary focus," they continued.

In January, The AP's NFT marketplace launched. Within their press release at the time, they said it is a "not-for-profit news cooperative, proceeds go back into funding factual, unbiased AP journalism. "

One of the first NFTs offered was the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning image of a Jewish settler bravely going up against Israeli security officers in the West Bank settlement of Amon.

This NFT wouldn't have been the first to receive backlash.

The leading conservation charity World Wildlife Fund (WWF) felt the fire after releasing 'eco-friendly' NFTs and many people threatened to cancel their donations.

Indy100 reached out to Dana for comment.

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