Content Warning: September 11th, Suicide, "Falling Man"
Like many other tech-based companies, GameStop has become involved in digitized financial distribution, including the developing, selling, and purchasing of NFTs and NFT chains.
One particular NFT recently led to serious backlash for the big company, leading them to disable the NFT and much of its creator's abilities on the platform.
The NFT in question featured the famous photograph, "Falling Man," taken by photographer Richard Drew as he saw a man falling from one of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. The man presumably had jumped, as many other victims did, knowing that the Towers would not withstand the attacks.
The conversation found its way to Twitter.
"Falling Man" remains one of the most iconic images from the event, so many traders noted that the new NFT was the same photograph, simply with an astronaut superimposed over the original man.
Before being disabled, the NFT was selling for nearly $1,000, and GameStop was calculated to have received approximately $100 in commissions from the NFT being traded on their platform.
But after complaints rolled in against GameStop for featuring the NFT with the sensitive 9-11 content, the company made the decision to remove the image from the platform.
Viewers were appalled by the content of the photo.
The creator of the image is still a part of GameStop's Creator Program, and the folder they created with the image inside, simply titled, "Astronauts," and containing other images with superimposed astronauts, still exists.
It's also been noted that the creator's other artwork is not original art but simply highly digitized and edited photographs, using a range of AI to assist in the creation of these new images.
Some of the creator's other pieces have since been taken down from their NFT positions due to other service violations on the platform.
While followers of this incident could agree that people have a right to their freedom of speech and that art should also be a free form of expression, this NFT was still pushing its possibilities much too far.
Surely if they wanted to make a political statement, they could employ an astronaut in a different historical landscape.