In Brief: Regulating Celebrity-Endorsed NFTs; Understanding What Workers Want
By Greg Beaubien
Will Celebrity-endorsed NFTs Be Regulated as Securities?
As celebrities jump aboard the nonfungible-token (NFT) bandwagon, legal experts are questioning whether the unique digital images should be regulated as investments, Wired reports.
Actress Mila Kunis is promoting “Stoner Cats,” her series of cartoons that can only be viewed by purchasing a nonfungible token. Other celebrities — including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon and Shaquille O’Neal — are posting about the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which its website describes as “A limited NFT collection where the token itself doubles as your membership to a swamp club for apes.”
Celebrities might have financial stakes in the NFTs they promote. “The same rules that apply to influencers that get paid to promote products and services also apply to NFTs,” so celebrities should disclose when they’re promoting a product, says Ethan Wall, a lawyer who specializes in legal issues related to social media.
Nonfungible tokens aren’t yet classified as securities, but already they’re being treated as speculative assets that their owners expect to sell for a profit.
Study: Most Americans Consider Disinformation a Problem
More than two-thirds of Americans (69 percent) believe disinformation is a major problem in society, up from 63 percent in 2020, new research finds.
According to the Institute for Public Relations’ third-annual “Disinformation in Society Report,” nearly three-quarters of Americans, on both sides of the political aisle, believe that disinformation will prolong the COVID-19 pandemic.
In surveys conducted in November, 73 percent of respondents perceived that disinformation — which the study defines as “deliberately misleading or biased information” — is widespread about the coronavirus vaccine.
Seventy percent believe that disinformation has a negative effect on society and well-being. Seventy-one percent said falsehoods exacerbate political polarization. Seventy-three percent feel that disinformation undermines election processes and 75 percent think deliberate attempts to mislead the public threaten democracy.
Respondents cited family (79 percent) and friends (74 percent) as their most trusted sources of information. And they blamed politicians (77 percent) and Facebook (72 percent) as the culprits most often spreading disinformation. Seventy-eight percent felt at least “somewhat” confident in their own ability to recognize information that misrepresents reality or is false.
What Workers Really Want
To attract and retain top talent, employers should satisfy six expectations, a new Gallup study finds.
Those criteria, in order of importance for employees, start with compensation. The No. 1 factor respondents said they seek in a new position, cited by 64 percent as “very important,” is a “significant increase in income or benefits.” That’s up from 41 percent in 2015, when “income or benefits” ranked fourth.
Next is work-life balance, which 61 percent of respondents called “very important,” up from 53 percent in 2015. Third, employees want a role that “lets them do what they do best,” cited by 58 percent of respondents as “important.” Fourth on the list is job security. Fifty-three percent of respondents would seek security and stability should they switch jobs, unchanged since 2015.
Fifth in priority, employees look for coronavirus-vaccination policies that match their own beliefs, cited by 43 percent. Sixth on the list is diversity and inclusiveness, which 42 percent of respondents called “very important.”
What’s That? It’s a Yat
As nonfungible tokens (NFTs) — one-of-a-kind digital images traded on the blockchain ledger — spread through the art, sports and music worlds, sometimes selling for millions of dollars, investors are betting that custom strings of emoji symbols might also become digital assets.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, some people are using these hieroglyphic identifiers, called Yats, in their social-media bios instead of usernames. (Yat Labs is a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that sells the emoji strings.)
A Yat with one to five characters can cost from $4 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shorter combinations typically cost more. (A single-character Yat reportedly sold for $425,000, the highest price to date.) Yat Labs says it has sold almost 160,000 Yats for a combined $20 million since the company launched a year ago. Yats become nonfungible tokens when recorded on the blockchain.
Yats are “a fiction constructed in our heads,” investor Michael Arrington says. “It shouldn’t make any sense.” But in today’s world, “unexplainable versions of virality are the norm.”