Professional surfing hangs in the balance!
Not five minutes after publicizing a two year deal which sees Facebook becoming the official broadcast partner of the World Surf League all hell broke loose. It was revealed that Facebook had exposed 50 million users’ data to a firm with political ties that should not have had access. Blah blah blah lots of hang wringing about privacy and nefarious actors willing to “weaponize” information etc. though the best bit I’ve read thus far has been, “On second thought, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to give Facebook access to all my personal information in exchange for seeing what old classmates are eating for breakfast.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, took advertisements out in many major newspapers in order to offer The Inertia-like apologies. “So sorry. Our fault. Totally promise to do better in the future.” I don’t like this new era of earnest apology with zero spine. Gimme denials and heartlessness.
But enough reminiscing. The price of admission for future WSL broadcasts will most certainly be access to your personal data, all fine and good, BUT and here’s the thing… I would imagine that Facebook is going to limit what personal information can be sold, in reaction to scandal, which totally and completely renders the deal… silly. Not that professional surf watching data is worth anything but it’s the principle.
And so the biggest media scandal of the last ten years smacks the beleaguered WSL right in the pocketbook. Maybe. But what I really want to data mine right now is does this latest scandal make you want to not watch professional surfing?