The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) announced it is conducting internal research to find out why its official Twitter account liked a tweet that promoted the racial collection of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
Using George Floyd’s name, many creators are selling digital assets that spread hate, just to make a quick profit.
San Francisco police investigating controversial “like”
A Twitter account posted on February 7 to market its NFTs resembling the black man George Floyd who died in 2020.
The creators called the NFT a unique celebration of George Floyd’s life. Under the name “Floydies,” the NFT was first seen in OpenSea back in December last year.
#SFPD Twitter Account Liked A Racist George Floyd NFT Tweet https://t.co/mSQYwENE5n
— tree (@treekisser) February 13, 2022
Likes that are considered a form of digital endorsement are now pushing the SFPD into hot waters. Robert Rueca, the officer of the SFPD, suggested this social media activity is not aligned with the ideology of the police department.
Similarly, the officer mentioned the department is encouraging its social media account managers not to use the platform on mobile devices where continuous scrolling can result in inadvertent likes.
According to the creators of the NFT, the digital asset comes with an “N-word pass,” meaning anyone who buys it would be allowed to say the N-word, which is considered a racial slur.
According to them, only black people are allowed to give others an N-word pass, but these people do not make these sorts of decisions.
BuzzFeed News reported the creators are not associated with the Black Lives Matter movement; they do not show any interest in aligning themselves with the movement, either.
Thus, the news outlet asked the creators why they are using George Floyd’s picture without the consent of the community.
Responding to this, the creators suggested they are doing “great service” to the community, noting no one aware of Floyd would be offended by the project.
Racial NFTs are now increasing on the internet
It is not clear who is behind selling the racist NFTs, as blockchain-based digital assets can be hard to track more often than not.
This weakness in the system is encouraging other creators to join marketplaces to sell their own racist NFTs as they see a growing opportunity to make quick profits.
The use of these racist collectibles has already been criticized in the past. A famous writer and music journalist, Touré, lambasted those who are using Floyd’s illustrations to make a profit, stating these people are “a-holes.”
This is not an "innocent George Floyd tribute project." This is a racist having fun with George Floyd’s image. You’re an asshole @FloydiesNFT. https://t.co/LhUSTVULbx
— Touré (@Toure) February 12, 2022
While OpeanSea specifically mentions the use of its platform for selling assets that drive hate or breach intellectual property is not allowed, the assets remained on the platform until BuzzFeed approached the company.
Responding to BuzzFeed’s inquiries, the platform mentioned it banned the creators permanently and took down all racial digital assets that recently surfaced on the website.