GameStop pulls controversial NFT mimicking infamous 9/11 photo

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GameStop pulls controversial NFT mimicking infamous 9/11 photo

GameStop has withdrawn a highly questionable non-fungible token (NFT) from its marketplace that resembles the disturbing “Falling Man” photograph captured during the 9/11 attacks.

NFT depicts an astronaut falling similar to “Falling Man”

GameStop, the famous gaming company, has recently been under fire for hosting an NFT that parallels the heart-wrenching “Falling Man” image on their Marketplace. 

The NFT portrayed an astronaut cascading downward against a backdrop eerily similar to the one documented by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew during 9/11. The placement and pose were undeniably reminiscent, sparking outrage and cries of insensitivity across social media.

Internet detectives were quick to spotlight the glaring similarities. A screen grab of a conversation between GameStop and a concerned Twitter user reveals the depth of public emotion. The user stated emphatically:

“Please don’t let people profit off of a tragedy like that. It’s tasteless and gross.”

GameStop’s prompt reply assured users that the contentious NFT “will be removed from our marketplace entirely.”

GameStop pulls controversial NFT mimicking infamous 9/11 photo - 1

The problematic NFT wasn’t just a fleeting post. It was available for purchase for close to two weeks and became so associated with the brand that Google searches for “GameStop” even displayed the image. 

It was initially priced at a hefty 0.65 ETH (equivalent to $990) but was later reduced to a more affordable 0.029 ETH ($46). Although GameStop pockets 2.25% from each NFT transaction, at least eight of these questionable artworks found buyers.

However, any resale hopes were quashed when GameStop pulled the plug, leaving the new owners with the sole option of transferring the digital token between wallets.

GameStop’s entrance into the market

Entering the burgeoning world of NFTs in May, GameStop launched its beta marketplace only recently. In an attempt to maintain quality, the company mandates that artists receive approval prior to minting any NFT on their platform. 

This screening process seems to have missed the mark in this instance, igniting public fury and prompting swift action.

The impact of “The Falling Man”

It’s vital to understand the significance of the “Falling Man” photograph to fathom the depth of public outrage. Captured by AP’s Richard Drew, this haunting image depicts an anonymous individual plummeting to his doom, trapped on the upper echelons of the North Tower during 9/11. 

While the photograph did grace the pages of renowned newspapers like the New York Times the very next day, it invited substantial backlash. Media outlets that chose to feature it faced intense scrutiny. Despite the controversy, many hail it as a “masterpiece” crediting the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for his evocative documentation.

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