"Hey there super cool guy, hope you're having good times making fun of folks from your 'man cave' at mom's house."
I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg saw this future back in 2004 when he pressed the launch button for Facebook? A world where “disinformation” reigns, hurt feelings bloom, professional longboarders excoriated for practicing safety, surf journalists targeted and attacked via unsolicited direct messages.
There I was, minding my own business, trying to find a new backdoor into Kelly Slater’s Instagram account when I noticed there was little orange “1” paper airplane in the upper right corner of my cellular phone screen. Clicking, and expecting a congratulations for nearing 5000 posts on the culturally valuable surf blog BeachGrit, I was instead met with unexpected viciousness.
“Hey there super cool guy,” it began, getting my hopes right up before crashing them right down with, “hope you’re having good times making fun of folks from your ‘man cave’ at mom’s house. Tired of the constant snarky shit that comes out of your mouth when you’re not putting shit up your nose. Unfollowing.”
The growing trend of bashing surf journalists extends to the preeminent thinker Sam George. The man who, legitimately self-coined himself the “King of Rincon” according to a first-person account, was recently and ruthlessly dragged for instructing Tahitians how to properly pronounce their most famous wave.
Chris Cote, rising World Surf League voice, casually dropped a “no cap” in Joel Tudor’s feed and was excoriated for not using the language of a “grown adult man.”
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, understanding the danger, declared:
From 2016 to the end of 2020, UNESCO recorded 400 killings of journalists, a nearly 20 percent decrease from the previous five-year period. The declining trend continued in 2021, with 55 journalists killed.
Yet, the global rate of impunity for killing journalists is worryingly high: nine times out of ten, the case remains unresolved. Where the number of journalist killings is high, so is impunity for these killings, creating a continued cycle of violence.
Journalist imprisonment is at record highs. Online violence and harassment spurs self-censorship and, sometimes, physical attacks. Journalists have also increasingly been attacked while covering protests, by various actors (including both security forces and protest participants).
To say nothing of mean DMs, rude castigations, unnecessary pokings.
Is Sam George the King of Rincon though?
This story 4990 brought to you by The Inertia which would like to remind you that anyone can be a surf journalist.