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Do NOT Say Mark Zuckerberg Was Riding An Electric Surfboard

“I mean, it is defamation.”

Posted on September 22, 2021, at 11:39 a.m. ET

In this still, Mark Zuckerberg is riding a hydrofoil on the water and holding an American flag
Mark Zuckerberg

This is NOT a still from a video posted to Facebook of a man riding an electric surfboard.

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an article about Facebook's efforts to rehabilitate its image by promoting positive stories about the platform into people's News Feeds. The article describes a video posted to CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Instagram in which he appears to celebrate the 4th of July holiday from atop an "electric surfboard."

Zuckerberg used his Facebook account to post a pointed rebuttal to the "paper of record."

In the replies to his post, Zuckerberg noted to a well-wisher that the Times' assertion that he was using motorized power was defamation.

Facebook comment of Mark Zuckerberg saying "I mean, it is defamation" in response to a question asking "Are we going to sue them?"

It's worth noting that Zuckerberg was photographed riding an electronically powered board made by Lift Foils in 2020 — with enough white sunscreen caked on his face to make him resemble a wave-chasing Michael Myers. However, the hydrofoil he is riding in the July 2021 video is not the $12,000 Lift, but rather a different hydrofoil that is powered by pumping one's legs.

The erroneous characterization was made in an article written by Ryan Mac, who won the Polk Award for his coverage of Facebook while at BuzzFeed News, and Sheera Frenkel, also formerly of BuzzFeed News and coauthor of An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination. They both should know better.

BuzzFeed News would never make this kind of error. Please support our mission of writing high-quality surf journalism by becoming a member.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.