Stab Magazine | Can An Instagram Comment Result In The (Minor) Bombing Of A Marine Reserve?

Playing (Mostly) Exclusively On Stab Premium: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown


Can An Instagram Comment Result In The (Minor) Bombing Of A Marine Reserve?

The questionable state of power and rage fueled by social media.

news // Mar 3, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Our society has taken a strange, gradual turn to treating social media as national news, and in turn, inciting public outrage. See: Donald Trump’s Twitter feed… As a result, serious repercussions come from a simple post or comment. To be an influencer in our digital age means every move made online is public domain and therefore up for interpretation. While social media can serve as an outlet for good cause, like #JeSuisCharlie after the slaughtering of 12 staffers following the Charlie Hebdo shooting (long live free speech), #PrayForOrlando backing the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and more recent incidents. They can occasionally come off as ploys for social media attention, supporting a cause not just because one believes in it, but for likes, to boost followings and so on. With that said, there’s no problem in raising awareness à la social media–it’s the product of the rigid, volatile world we are living in.

As the shark problem in Reunion refuses to settle, it came as a surprise yesterday while reading the letter penned by Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd, that following Kelly Slater’s Instagram comment on Jeremy Flores’ post, violence ignited in Reunion. And that single comment by Kelly calling for a more regulated shark culling program on Reunion Island due to the staggering amount of fatalities is still making headlines. It’s the follow-up story that refuses to trickle out.

In the letter, Mr Watson stated, “I don’t think Kelly anticipated his words would ignite violence in Reunion Island or that the next day would see a fire bomb attack on the Marine Reserve.” The latter half of that sentence startled us. There had been no coverage of such attack on any of our prevailing media, we wondered if it was dramatic wording due to the death threats, and anger brought about by another tragedy in the waters of the French Republic. We contacted Paul; he connected us with the Sea Shepherd France, who provided reports of the attack.


The opening of dialog, as innocuous as it seemed, stirred a reactionary fire.

Last Friday, in Reunion, it was reported, “Early this morning, five Molotov cocktails were thrown into the Marine Reserve, slightly degrading a vehicle, and a tag was also written on the wall of the establishment.”

“On the walls, the inscriptions ‘Assassins Krapo’ were discovered, referring to the nickname of Alexandre Naussac, the bodyboarder who lost his life after a shark attack at the mouth of the Rivière du Mât Tuesday, February 21. The family condemned these acts on social networks. ‘Do not associate my son Alexandre to this kind of behaviour,’ his mother wrote. ‘We do not want Alex’s death to be used to justify this or that act, he was fully aware of the risks he was taking,’ added his brother.”

This isn’t the first time the word “assassin” has been tagged on Marine Reserve signs in Reunion. In 2013, where the Marine Reserve filed a complaint against a young graphic designer, who had posted on the internet calling it “band assassin”, in reference to the history of shark attacks. In 2012, nearly 100 people gathered outside the Marine Reserve headquarters following an attack at Saint Leu, people attempted to enter the premises.


The damage may be minor but the message, very clear. Photo: IPR Reunion

One of the reports states, “Kelly Slater does not demand a mass slaughter of all sharks but a consisted regulation of the most dangerous sharks in Reunion, such as the bull shark.” Indirectly noting his comment on Jeremy Flores’ post, which was amplified by a subsequent post on his page, highlighting his comment and opening the discussion to his (1.9m followers) and opened the conversation on global news platforms. Due to various interpretations, a vendetta against the Marine Reserve in Reunion was given fresh life and an, albeit minor, terror attack took place.

Billions of us use social media daily. An Instagram following of over one million is today’s finest form of influence. Take when Kim Kardashian (93.7m) posted the number of Americans killed annually by Islamic jihadists (2) vs armed toddlers (21), lightning (31) and being shot by another American (11,737) in response to Trump’s “Muslim Ban”–which fails to report the San Bernardino, California shooting that resulted in the death of 14. It made national news, had no text other than the word statistics in the screen grab and contained misinformation. In the hyper-reactionary times of today, social media, which in theory should be taken lightly, is not. It’s become the popular majority’s principal source of news, fake news, alternative facts and belief, which is a scary notion. The issue isn’t bringing up issues for thoughtful discussion; it’s the unpredictable effect it has on the public.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

A (Non) Objective Look At The Best Backside Barrel Riders In History

Who has the best pigdog in the pen?

Jul 21, 2024

The Stab Interview With Jordy Smith

"If I won a gold medal, yeah, I'd probably kick out. I'd have one up…

Jul 19, 2024

How Does A Board Brand Licensing Model Work?

The Lost Stub 3.0 Joyride.

Jul 18, 2024

Challenger Series Losers Win Consolation Prizes At Namibian Desert Casino

"Some crew were saying it was a 3/10, but for me, it was 10/10. The…

Jul 18, 2024

How Teahupo’o Slungshot A Surf-Mat Toting Photographer Into An Induced Coma

Byron Mcloughlin tells the tale of his secondary drowning.

Jul 18, 2024

On Making A Living As A Gen-Z Surf Photographer And Surviving Hyper-Rare Cancer

This 21-year-old protégé of Ryan Miller and Morgan Maassen is back and #opentowork.

Jul 17, 2024

In This Instalment Of MTV Cribs… Ethan Ewing

A character-revealing profile on the Olympian and World #5 + a complimentary Fiji preview

Jul 17, 2024

Jake Marshall Made It To 4th In The World And His Best Friend Is To Blame

From combatants, to housemates, to secretive CT surfer/shaper.

Jul 16, 2024

2024’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test Star Is…

Massively overqualified. 

Jul 16, 2024

Kelly Slater, Sierra Kerr + Erin Brooks Awarded Role Of Cats In Penultimate CT Pigeon Parade

A deadly lineup of wildcards just got invited to Fiji, the last event to determine…

Jul 16, 2024

Watch: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown

“You don’t know whether he’s gonna get the best wave or the last wave of…

Jul 16, 2024

Teahupo’o Rang — Who Answered?

An Olympic-sized swell hits Tahiti two weeks early, delivers near-death and glory.

Jul 15, 2024

Kelly Slater, John Florence, Jack Johnson & Hundreds More Paddle Out At Pipeline To Remember Tamayo Perry

A royal send-off: Oahu celebrates the life of a North Shore Icon.

Jul 15, 2024

Modern Debate: Wax Or Traction?

Mason Ho, Noa Deane, Creed McTaggart and more share their theories on grip. 

Jul 14, 2024

Stay Where Stab Stays

Waves out front, parties every week, 60/40 (female-majority) clientele — what's not to love?

Jul 14, 2024

Beyond The Fedora: How Fernando Aguerre Became Surfing’s Master-Puppeteer

From DJing and ding repair, to law and Reef girls, to the Olympics and beyond.

Jul 13, 2024

How An Encounter In Texas Led To Noah Beschen Signing With A Swiss Watch Brand

The Stab Interview with the 23-year-old who Jordy considers the world's best free surfer.

Jul 12, 2024

Bruce Irons, Koa Rothman, Peter And John Mel Sign With Bodybuilding x Surf Brand

Darc Sport plants their black flag in Oahu and Santa Cruz to stake claim in…

Jul 12, 2024