While non-fungal tokenized (NFT) collectibles have been very popular, NFTs have sparked many unique debates and one of them has been censorship. The artist behind Stonetoss Comics, a political cartoon series, has been censored by two very important NFT markets – Opensea and Rarible. Stonetoss told the public on social media that the artist was concerned that these NFT platforms were being used as “a tool of political censorship.”
2 major NFT markets accused of political censorship
Censorship of any kind was hated in the early days of cryptography, but nowadays acts of censorship slip through the cracks. The very nature of Bitcoin and blockchain technology is touted as ‘censorship resistant’ tools and non-fungible token (NFT) assets are intended to provide censorship resistance for things like works. art, online creations, collectibles, virtual items, etc. However, while NFT marketplaces allow users to connect their wallets and buy and sell NFT assets such as decentralized exchange (dex) platforms, unlike dex applications, web portals hosting NFTs are considered centralized. Although some dex apps have also been accused of centralization and censorship.
On November 22, the pseudonymous conservative cartoonist known as “Stonetoss“, told the audience about the censorship issues the artist was facing on the largest marketplace platform Ethereum NFT Opensea.” Hello Opensea, I am contacting you because I am concerned that your platform will be picked up as a tool political censorship. I also sent this message to your support page. My community of collectors would like a response â, Stonetoss tweeted. Stonetoss too sent to Rarible moreover, because the NFT market has also banned the NFT of the pseudonymous designer.
– Cartoon variant of Ben Garrison (@CartoonsBen) November 16, 2021
OpenSea Platform NFT Flurks, Rarible
NFT flurks saw Support by conservative cartoonist Ben Garrison, internet comedian Ricky berwick and the actor Sam hyde. This weekend, artist Stonetoss spoke with Bitcoin.com News and spoke to our press office about some of the censorship that occurred with the recent Stonetoss NFT collection.
âOn November 20, I and one of my teams launched a sale of 5,000 NFT artwork related to my work,â Stonetoss told our press office. âThe project was called ‘Flurks’. The project was a set of generative artwork in a style similar to the famous NFT projects âBored Apeâ and âCryptopunksâ. The official website of the project is Flurksnft.com. Then the team sold the entire NFT inventory within 22 minutes.
“The project collected a total of around 420 ethereum, [and] that’s equivalent to around $ 1.8 million, âStonetoss said. “As is popular with NFTs, people immediately speculated on the [resale] price of the artwork in secondary markets like Opensea.io and Rarible.com (the two largest markets in the NFT space). Of course, the shocking sell time was a strong signal for huge demand, âStonetoss said. The pseudonymous designer added:
Approximately six hours after the sale, NFT Flurks trading volume exceeded 100 ethereum on Opensea. It was at this point that, for reasons unknown to us, Opensea apparently removed Flurks from its platform, thus preventing further sales. Some time later, we were also delisted from Rarible for unspecified reasons.
Stonetoss says art is âno longer dangerous Dave Chappelle; Tell jokes that some people don’t want to hear ‘
Stonetoss added that the next day Rarible put the Flurks NFT collection back on sale, but the collection was written off again a few hours later. The artist is not sure why Rarible has written off the NFT twice, but the cartoonist suspects political censorship.
âWe believe that this de-platform on Opensea and Rarible are attempts at political censorship. Because my work as a cartoonist is often political, I have been the target of regular de-platforming campaigns from those who do not agree. In response, I have responded to many of the complaints made against my work by those who wish to remove it from its platform, âthe cartoonist said.
âSpecifically, I reject having violent personal beliefs or being linked to political extremism such as being a ‘Nazi’. I maintain that my job is no more dangerous than Dave Chappelle’s; tell jokes that some people don’t want to hear, âadded the artist. The cartoonist added that the artist’s team addressed the grievances using their official platform communication on Twitter and also respectfully marked the founders of Openea and Rarible.
âDespite communication on their official support channels and on Twitter, we have not received any response from Openea or Rarible as to why the de-platform has occurred. We suspect the reason could be due to the inclusion of a Confederate flag as a random trait applied to some of the NFT artwork in the set, âStonetoss told Bitcoin.com News. âAs explained in the Twitter post, we have also included pride flags, Gadsden flags and a hammer and sickle shirt as traits. We think it is obvious that in this context the addition of a Confederate flag is no longer an endorsement of the Confederacy like a hammer and sickle shirt is an endorsement of Communism. The cartoonist added:
Indeed, the Confederate flag is still used by some state governments in the United States. It seems that Opensea and Rarible would prefer EVERYTHING except having to tackle the root cause of the de-platform. The two platforms have become places of artistic expression. On the official Rarible Discord channel, when pressed, a Rarible employee insisted, “We don’t delete something just because of his political opinion.”
Stonetoss is “unwilling to leave censorship unchallenged”
The artist says no official word from Opensea and Rarible has been sent to the designer team and the artist expects the problem “to be quite embarrassing for a platform posing as a art “.
âPersonally, I have no doubt that Flurks will benefit from a healthy secondary market even if we have to build our own platform for it,â Stonetoss concluded. âThis has already been successfully done by a project called ‘Cryptophunks’, an imitation of ‘Cryptopunks’. However, as a conservative political cartoonist, I am not willing to leave this censorship unchallenged. Indeed, my fame as a that artist is precisely due to the fact that I can operate in this environment of censorship. â
What do you think of the fact that Opensea and Rarible are accused of distorting the Stonetoss NFT collection? Let us know what you think of this topic in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Flurks NFT, Stonetoss Comics,
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