Mark Zuckerberg's Viral Surfing Video

As Fourth of July celebrations began across the nation, Mark Zuckerberg posted a video to his Instagram account that immediately generated hundreds of thousands of views. Indeed, the clip seemed designed for warp-speed virality.

Behind a fast-moving boat, Mr. Zuckerberg wakeboards in a tuxedo and sunglasses while sipping from a Tall Boy. The clip is based on Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 anthem “Born in the USA.” For its half-minute runtime, the multibillionaire CEO of Meta shows off his surfing technique.

“Unbelievable!” commented Lauren Sánchez, Jeff Bezos' girlfriend.

Gaming influencer @StoneMountain64 wrote: “Now that's content.”

Mr. Zuckerberg responded: “I’m just doing my part.”

To Zuckologists, the clip was yet another example of the 40-year-old executive trying to remake his image. In recent years, he has gone from a flip-flop-wearing, hoodie-wearing tech entrepreneur to a more dapper, Richard Branson-esque figure who wears Brunello Cucinelli T-shirts, a silver chain, and has immersed himself in mixed martial arts.

As one commenter on X put it, “The PR team that’s rehabilitating Zuck is continuing its winning streak.”

The video was a sequel of sorts to a video Mr. Zuckerberg posted on July 4, 2021. That one showed him aboard a moving hydrofoil carrying an American flag to the soundtrack of John Denver’s 1971 hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

The following year, he posted a photo of himself in an American flag cowboy hat while grilling sausages. “I’m smoking these meats,” he wrote in the caption. “Happy Fourth of July!” Last year’s post featured a candid shot of Mr. Zuckerberg and his family.

If social media experts help Mr. Zuckerberg craft his posts, not much is known about them. Meta representatives have suggested that he does not rely on image consultants. A Meta representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If the intent behind Zuckerberg’s patriotic content was to bring him closer to the American public, despite his net worth of about $181 billion, according to Bloomberg, it appears to have helped. The online response to this year’s July 4 post has been largely upbeat, a marked difference from the satirical memes that mocked his 2021 seaplane post.

But some online observers have pointed out a sour note in the clip: the use of “Born in the USA.” Often misinterpreted as a rah-rah anthem, the song tells the story of a Vietnam War veteran who returns home to a lonely reception and dire circumstances.

Dana White, chief executive of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which has long been trying to arrange a cage match between Mr Zuckerberg and his tech rival Elon Musk, reacted to the video with a positive comment: “'MERICA!!!!!”

Mr Musk had a different opinion, writing on X: “Let him continue to have fun on his yachts. I prefer to work.”

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