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Charlie was a bit of trouble for us all, if we really think about

It’s difficult to describe the chaos surrounding NFTs (non-fungible tokens) right now. Tech reporters are swamped with the latest and most bizarre additions to the trend of digital certificates to memes and other digital memorabilia. Disaster Girl sold for around $500,000, Keyboard Cat went for about $64,400, and Nyan Cat brought in around $590,000. However, most NFTs don’t have much to do with the news and we cannot possibly write about all of them. (Despite this sentence, my inbox is going to be overflowing with NFT pitches for two months). We can’t win all NFTs, despite our best efforts to be judicious and only write about newsworthy subjects.

We wrote about the Charlie Bit Me NFT auction because it had a twist the others did not: the seller said it would be leaving the internet “forever,” deleted from YouTube where it currently has more than 880 million views once the auction ended. But according to Quartz, there’s another surprise twist: Howard Davies-Carr, the father of the children in the 14-year-old clip, which sold for about $761,000, says it will stay on YouTube after all.

“After the auction we connected with the buyer, who ended up deciding to keep the video on YouTube,” Davies-Carr told Quartz. “The buyer felt the video was an integral part of popular culture, and should not be removed. It will be available on YouTube so that the masses can continue to enjoy it.

I suppose that’s nice but you could have just–not bid on it.

Okay so, listen, internet. While we try to accept the fact that opinions and things change, and nothing is ever permanent, we must also establish some guidelines regarding NFTs in my humble Gen X view. Charlie and his brother are really cute (or were in 2007), but this isn’t even one of the most clever or interesting memes on the internet if we’re being brutally honest. You can spend your money on anything you want, but if the seller promises that the meme will disappear forever in order to attract buyers and eyeballs then they are setting expectations. When you make changes last minute, it creates chaos, confusion, and grumpy editors. You’re also creating confusion among buyers. Instead of just one Charlie, you have increased the supply to infinite Charlies. This is something potential buyers may wish to know before bidding.

It’s not surprising that a blockchain-related product might under-deliver but it will encourage more outrageous stunts to gain coverage and buyers for NFTs. This will likely result in less coverage by tech media as no one wants to be burned or bitten by stories that don’t live up the hype.

Charlie, good going, my young friend. You bit us all in the end.

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Trump Attacks Biden’s Crypto Awareness, Says ‘Biden Doesn’t Even Know What It Is’ at NFT Gala

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