StoneToss Flurk NFT is the name of a crypto art collection made by political webcomic artist StoneToss. The characters that feature a similar style to his comics are called "Flurks" and are vaguely human-like, each with distinguishing features. The NFT collection of Flurks became widespread news when the 5,000-strong collection sold out in 20 minutes and was then delisted less than 20 hours later.
StoneToss entered the NFT space by using his own known characters and various inside jokes from the internet community when creating their unique traits. The collection of his characters was set to go on sale at 6 p.m. Eastern Time on the flurksnft.com website, on November 20th, 2023. At 6:23 p.m., StoneToss tweeted that only 22 minutes after going live, the collection was fully gone, with this and subsequent tweets getting more than 10,000 combined likes in 24 hours (shown below).
The online reaction was swift, with many in the NFT community making claims that NFTs were now being "co-opted" and used by someone who was putting political iconography, such as the Confederate flag in NFT format. This is seen in a tweet by Twitter user Andrew Wang on November 20th, 2023, shortly after the initial sell-out. His tweet called into question the collection and how it was considered acceptable to sell, the first of many to do so (shown below).
Other users who weren't as familiar with NFTs were incensed that StoneToss, who has had various controversies over his multi-year career of making political webcomics, was able to make roughly $1.8 million within 22 minutes, as seen in a tweet by user @McFilly on November 20th, 2023, that gained 260 likes in two days and got ratio'd by StoneToss in a QRT (shown below).
By 11 p.m. that night on November 20th, 2023, roughly five hours after the initial selling of the Flurks, it was announced that OpenSea had officially delisted the collection, meaning it could not be bought, sold or even shown on the marketplace. The play was then to move the buying and selling of Flurks over to Rarible, which also followed suit the following day in removing them from the marketplace. While intending to remove and shut down the collection, it instead had the opposite happen, which is commonly referred to as the Streisand Effect. Though the exact reason for the delisting by OpenSea and Rarible hasn't been stated by either platform, it's theorized that Flurks were removed due to the controversy surrounding StoneToss.
People on Twitter then began to call out OpenSea and Rarible, as the blockchain technology they are built on is supposed to be decentralized, for their censorship of a collection on political grounds alone, as seen in the tweet by RemigiusCrypto on November 20th (shown below).
StoneToss and others who supported the project then used the delisting as a marketing tool. Future tweets by StoneToss and others refer to the Flurks as "illegal memes" and said that the only real way to buy them now is P2P, which some attributed to being more in line with the original network of early-life cryptocurrency. StoneToss and Flurks were both accused of Nazism during the release, resulting in Flurk owners and enthusiasts likening Flurks to a "persecuted and in danger class," as seen in the tweet by JoelNeumann that same day, stating that "Flurk Lives Matter" (shown below).
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